The UConn women’s soccer team will look to push through the Ivy Thursday as they travel to Providence to take on Brown University’s side in a mid-week matchup.
UConn (2-1-1) has won the last 12 meetings between these two teams, taking their last loss against the Bears in 1990. They have not played since 2015, when the Huskies were still led by Len Tsantiris. Now under Margaret Rodriguez, UConn will look to continue their successful start to the season.
They are up against a Brown team that has played well to start, winning both of their games thus far. Their first game they beat Hofstra 2-1 and bulldozed UMass Lowell 4-0 just days later.
Defensively, they have been sound so far. They have allowed just six shots on target and one goal. This is a vast improvement from their efforts last season, albeit in a much smaller sample size. In 17 games last year, they allowed 85 shots on target or five per game.
UConn has allowed six or more shots on target every game this season aside from their most recent tie versus Colgate.
Offensively, Brown has two players that UConn will have to pay serious attention to: senior Abby Carchio and freshman Ava Seelenfreund.
Last season, Carchio paced her team in both goals and assists, with 10 and eight, respectively. She also was on the field for the third-most minutes for the Bears last season. She has already gotten on the score sheet this year, as she slotted a free-kick into the bottom-left corner from just outside the box in Brown’s season-opener against Hofstra.
Seelenfreund announced herself on the collegiate stage with a pair of goals against UMass Lowell last Sunday. Her first was a tap in off a long free-kick cross into the box from teammate Sydney Cummings. Her second came just after the start of the second half; she disposed Lowell’s center back before dribbling toward net, getting tackled and volleying the rebound with her left foot into the side netting from range.
Both of Seelenfreund’s goals came in composure situations where she had to wait for the play to develop before striking. That is impressive for a freshman so early into her career and is a dangerous commodity to have for Brown.
It appears most of Brown’s goals so far have come from mistakes made by their opponents, either giveaways or free-kick chances. If UConn is to be successful, they need to be careful with the ball in the final third and avoid fouling. If they cannot do that, they may lose a foothold on this game, which they cannot afford at an away stadium.
UConn has yet to win an away game this season and won just two of their nine away contests last year.
Brown’s starting defense is relatively tall as well, all standing above 5-foot-7, so UConn’s usual strategy of peppering in crosses from the wings may need some adjustment if it doesn’t work early in the game.
The Huskies can still win this game, if they take care of the ball and push forward with a plan in mind. UConn has taken quite a few shots so far this season, averaging 16 per game. That is a volume that Brown has yet to face this season.
When facing 15 or more shots last season, Brown was 1-5, with their only win coming against Princeton 3-2. If UConn can keep up their high shot-volume offense, they may get a couple past Bears goalkeeper Maria Guerrero Martinez.
The game will commence at 7 p.m. at Stevenson-Pincince Field and will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Mike Mavredakis is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com