In a season filled with uncertainty and doubt, the UConn women’s soccer team returned home following their loss against Georgetown, looking to leave no doubts as they continued their short homestand. The Huskies took on the Villanova Wildcats in the second of two meetings between the teams, with the first meeting ending in a draw just a little under three weeks ago in Pennsylvania.
The Wildcats (2-7-2, 1-4-2 Big East) came into the afternoon seeking their elusive first win on the road in 2021, failing to even notch a single goal, getting outscored 10-0 before their matchup with UConn (6-2-1, 4-2-1 Big East). Unfortunately for Villanova, the Huskies’ home dominance continued on a sunny Thursday afternoon in Storrs.
The Huskies controlled the game start to finish, outshooting the visiting Wildcats 20-1, with nine of their shots being on target as opposed to zero for Villanova. The usual stars for UConn were on full display throughout their attack, with Kess Elmore and Jaydah Bedoya alone combining for nine shots, getting five of those on goal to pressure the Villanova goalie committee of Megan McClay and Maria Thomas. While Elmore, Bedoya and Yamilee Eveillard have been constant attackers all season, the afternoon belonged to junior Isabelle Lynch.
Lynch broke through for the Huskies first goal mere seconds after coming off the bench as a substitute for Jada Konte, after UConn peppered the goal with ten shots in the first 34 minutes before Lynch registered her second goal of the season. Lynch would go back to the bench as the Huskies took a 1-0 lead into the half. However, the junior from New York was far from finished.
Again, Lynch found the net after subbing in for Konte in the 69th minute. While it took slightly longer than her first goal, the super-sub for the Huskies put in her third goal of the season only seven minutes after checking in, serving as a much-needed spark plug for a UConn offense that could not find the back of the net despite their countless chances. Lynch’s header came off a beautiful free kick from Jackie Harnett, that gave the Huskies their third goal of the game after Kess Elmore converting in the 62nd minute on a Konte assist.
On the defensive end, Randi Palacios had a very quiet afternoon, not even needing to save a Villanova shot throughout the entirety of the 90-minute affair, with the Wildcats only aforementioned shot not being on target.
[Text Wrapping Break]This game highlighted the two completely opposite directions that each of these Big East teams has followed this season, as Villanova remained winless (0-5) on the road, and the Huskies winning their sixth straight at Marrone (6-0) to keep their momentum going and their home record flawless.
The Huskies will look to carry their offensive onslaught on the road as they look to sweep the season series against the St. John’s Red Storm as they travel to Queens on Sunday afternoon. For Villanova, the Wildcats will look to flip the script and fix their road struggles as they travel to Washington D.C. to battle Georgetown Sunday as well.