There was one thing on the UConn women’s soccer team’s mind this weekend: Leave Florida with a point. They were able to do just that by forcing UCF to a draw Sunday.
UConn (6-8-2, 2-5-1 The American) had two hours in the car and a stop at forward Regan Schiappa’s house to think about their 2-1 loss to USF Thursday. The result: a 0-0 tie with UCF (8-2-4, 3-1-2 The American).
UConn was able to lock down UCF’s Zandy Soree and Kristen Scott, who came into the match with seven goals each. In general, UConn’s defense played extremely well, especially in do-or-die situations in front of goalkeeper Randi Palacios. UConn’s keeper, while not tasked with a ton of shots, played a solid game and contributed two saves.
Neither side played particularly well offensively, combining for just four shots on target despite playing 110 minutes. The low on-target total is as a result of incredible interior defensive play from both teams, especially UConn’s Rachel Marchini, who played the full game at center back. UConn also excelled in defending UCF’s 13 corner opportunities throughout the match.
UConn’s two chances came from forwards Sophia Dankyo-Kulchycky in the 37th minute and Kess Elmore in the 83rd minute. Both were saved by UCF’s Caroline DeLisle, who has allowed just .53 goals per game this season with a .830 save percentage.
UCF’s two chances came in quick succession as Dayana Martin’s shot was saved on a one-on-one opportunity in the 58th minute and Darya Rajaee’s shot was met by Palacios’ sure hands just three minutes later.
Despite giving a combined 20 fouls in the match, neither team registered a booking. There were a few questionable calls throughout, so this was slightly surprising to see.
With an 11-day layoff looming, UConn’s head coach Margaret Rodriguez made sure to spread the minutes around, getting 18 different players on the pitch throughout the match.
Considering the time they have in-between games, the Huskies have ample practice time to spend getting their attack in order. It has consistently held them back from the results the team wants, and there is little time left in the season at this point. The Huskies have been able to grab results when needed down the stretch, but this next week and a half will be the ultimate test of their ability.
The point UConn earned has kept them in contention for the last spot in the conference as they are in a dead tie with Temple, who is 4-9-4 and 2-5-1 in The American as well. UConn plays their last game of the season against Temple at home in a potential winner-moves-on matchup on Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. at Dillon Stadium in Hartford.
Mike Mavredakis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @mmavredakis.