Death, taxes and the UConn offense getting shut out by conference opponents. At least that’s how it’s been this season for the UConn women’s soccer team.
For the third consecutive game, the Huskies (4-6-1, 0-3 The American) failed to score a goal. This time it was against the No. 9 ranked Memphis Tigers, who improved to 11-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play with the 5-0 win Thursday night.
UConn was outplayed in every sense of the word by this top-10 opponent, with the team managing to put just four shots on goal, all of them in the second half. Memphis, however, put 10 shots on net and converted half of those. Overall, Memphis outshot UConn 22-9.
The game was scoreless through the first 20 minutes thanks to some good defense from the Huskies and a big save from goalkeeper Randi Palacios in the 18th minute.
The Tigers broke through in the 23rd minute on the 10th goal of the season by Clarissa Larisey off a pass from Stasia Mallin. The Huskies’ defense managed to hold the score there until the last minute of the first half.
With 31 seconds remaining in the half, Serena Dolan put a shot on net, but it hit off the post. Palacios dove for it, and Allie Rathburn was there for the wide open shot on the rebound. This would be a sign of things to come, as two of the Memphis goals in the second half came from rebounds of shots that hit off the crossbar, leaving Palacios almost no chance to make the save.
The Tigers’ third goal came on a penalty kick in the 52nd minute by Tanya Boychuk, her sixth of the season. The final two goals were scored by Claire Abrey and Rathburn again.
It was an all-out domination by Memphis in front of its home crowd. The team’s relentless defense made it challenging all night for the Huskies to get anything going on the offensive end of the field. One of their lone opportunities came on a corner kick in the 38th minute. The kick came in shallow and Rachel Marchini set up Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky for a good shot in the box but it sailed high.
Other than that, the UConn offense looked lost just as it had in the past two games, which were 1-0 losses to ECU and Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Memphis’s offense continued to mount pressure all game, and it cashed in on multiple occasions.
Thursday night’s game is proof that Memphis is a contender for a National Championship this year, while UConn still has a lot of work to do to get to that level.
Next up for the Huskies is a game against Tulsa on Sunday at 1 p.m.. Tulsa beat ECU Thursday to move to 7-6 this season and 1-2 in conference play. The UConn offense will look to figure things out in that game and break the current three-game scoreless streak.