Coming off of the big 3-0 win over Fairfield at their home opener on Sunday, the UConn women’s soccer team must now prepare for another in-state rival—the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils.
The game will be played on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at CCSU’s field in New Britain.
UConn (1-1) has played two solid games so far to begin their 2019 season, but they only have one win to show for it due to a tough 2-1 loss at Providence. Head Coach Margaret Rodriguez said that she believes her team should be 2-0 at this point based on their performance.
“We played extremely well in our loss versus Providence, and the only thing missing was to put a shot in the goal,” she said. “Against Fairfield, we had a lot of the possession and were able to capitalize on some quality chances. We deserved to win both games, but unfortunately we fell short against [Providence].”
The Huskies have a very favorable history against the Blue Devils, boasting an 11-1 all-time record. The last time they played each other was last season, a game that UConn won 3-2. In fact, that was the only loss that CCSU suffered in the entire regular season en route to their Northeast Conference Title.
The Blue Devils also come into this game with a 1-1 record. They lost 2-1 to Rutgers in overtime in their season opener before defeating Maine by the same score on Monday.
Rodriguez said that CCSU will be a definite challenge, especially after the magical season they had last year.
“CCSU is coming off of a very good season, going 16-1 in regular season play last year,” she said. “They are well-coached and work hard and have some confidence under their belts with the season they just had.”
Rodriguez also noted that this is a rivalry game, not just because of the geography, but also for her personally. Her twin sister and former teammate at UConn, Jen Prozzo, is the assistant coach for the Blue Devils, creating a “sister rivalry” of sorts.
Through two games for the Huskies, the most notable player has been redshirt sophomore forward Kess Elmore. She has scored a goal in each of the first two games and also recorded an assist, totaling a team-leading five points. Redshirt junior goalie Randi Palacios has also done a great job in net so far, recording nine saves in two games.
Rodriguez said that she believes her team will win on Thursday if they stay within themselves and just play ball.
“We need to just worry about us,” she said. “If we play up to our potential, I am confident that we can get the result. CCSU is a good team, but if we find consistency in our play and take our chances, I believe our team will prevail. We are dangerous in our take, so it’s just a matter of us getting in behind them.”
Danny Barletta is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.