Looking to carry over the momentum from the season opening win against Rhode Island last weekend, the UConn women’s soccer team looks to defend home field again as it welcomes Northeastern on Sunday, Feb. 28 at noon.
After waiting an eternity to get back on the field, the Huskies opened up the new and improved Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in style, using the momentum of two first half goals from redshirt junior forward Kess Elmore and freshman midfielder Lucy Cappadona to carry them over the Rams. This was more of the same from Elmore’s offensive impact for the Huskies that saw her lead the squad in goals (four) and assists (six) in 2019. To put that into perspective, the Liverpool, England native was the only Husky to register double digit points, leading the way with 14.
The Huskies will look for their defensive unit anchored by Melina Couzis and Jaqueline Harnett to repeat their performance against Rhode Island last week, only forcing goalkeeper Randi Palacios to turn away one shot on goal throughout the entirety of the 90 minutes, with the Rams only able to get two total shots in the entirety of Sunday’s affair.
Despite only putting two in the net, the Huskies got off eleven shots last week, nine more than their opponent, with five of them being on goal. The aggressive play of freshmen pairing Cappadona and forward Jada Konte was evident in their last time out, registering three shots apiece with Cappadona kicking off her UConn career in style. The freshmen from Marlboro, Massachusetts secured her first collegiate goal 30 minutes in after assists from Jessica Mazo and Jaydah Bedoya padded the lead for the Huskies.
For Northeastern, they look to improve from their 8-10-1 2019 campaign. Four members of the visiting Huskies eclipsed the double-digit point mark, with redshirt senior forward Kayla McCauley and junior Tatiana Ortega falling one point shy with three goals and three assists apiece. Coach Ashley Phillips returns for her fourth season at the helm of the program after being with the program for over a decade. Phillips is led by Stamford, Connecticut native Chelsea Domond who led the team in goals and assists, with seven and five, respectively.
The departures of graduating seniors Kerri Zerfoss and Olivia Ware see the Huskies lose their second and third leading goal scorers, relying on McCauley, Ortega and senior defender Mikenna McManus to aid Domond in the offensive attack. Northeastern has failed to score a goal in their first two games, in a 1-0 loss to New Hampshire and a grueling 2OT draw with UMass Amherst, both games in hostile road environments.
UConn will look to use the same defensive intensity that led to their clean sheet in their season opener in order to combat the duo of Domond and McManus, who will look to attack often and early, looking to finally put one in the net after combining for 10 shots in their first two games. In this battle of the Huskies, UConn looks to protect home field against Northeastern and spoil the return of their star Connecticut native back home with a win at Morrone on Sunday.