The UConn women’s soccer team defeated St. John’s 1-0 at Belson Stadium on Sunday, March 28. The Huskies (7-2-1, 5-2-1 Big East) completed the season sweep of the Red Storm, and have now won or drawn in eight of their last 10 games, with their only losses in that period coming from Providence and Georgetown. St. John’s (5-4-1, 2-4-1 Big East) received their first loss at home this season, and have failed to win in their last five outings.
Husky head coach Margaret Rodriguez went with Randi Palacios in net, along with a backline that consisted of Kara Long, Julia Petrillo, Jacqueline Harnett and Melina Couzis. The midfield was made up of Emma Zaccagnini, Jessica Mazo and Lucy Cappadona, while forwards Yamilee Eveillard, Jada Konte and Kess Elmore made up the strike partnership.
The first real opportunity for either side came in the 13th minute, when Cappadona found space and took a shot towards net that forced a save out of Red Storm goalkeeper Jordan Kamp. Two minutes after, Palacios would also come up big for her respective squad, as she kept out an effort that was headed into the top corner by St. John’s midfielder Ava Collins. Soon after, Red Storm midfielder Michelle Money entered the match in the 18th minute and immediately tested Palacios as she took a shot on goal in the 19th minute that was palmed away by the UConn goalkeeper.
Palacios would put the team on her back once again and keep the match scoreless in the 29th minute, as a shot by St. John’s forward Zsani Kajan was prevented from finding the back of the net by the outstretched arms of the husky guardian.
The opening stages of the second half were more-or-less uneventful. The Red Storm did get a corner in the 48th minute, but that came to no avail.
UConn would take the match by the scruff of the neck 15 minutes into the half. Midfielders Mazo and Cappadona got off shots in the 56th and 60th minute, respectively, and while they did not find the back of the net, it demonstrated the Huskies improvement in the final third. The squad’s efforts would pay off, as just after Cappadona’s effort, forward Konte took a shot on goal that nearly found the net had it not been for Kamp’s outstretched hands.
At this point, the St. John’s offense had gone cold, and it was the Huskies who continued to excel offensively. Another shot towards goal came from Eveillard, but it was off target once again. When it seemed as if the Huskies would not get rewarded for their efforts, they finally were able to find the breakthrough in the 72nd minute when midfielder Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky got on the end of a pass from defender Couzis to give UConn the lead.
From then on, the Red Storm could not create opportunities for themselves, and it seemed like St. John’s had nothing left in the tank. Nevertheless, midfielder Jessica Garziano found space in the 87th minute and took a shot on goal that was headed towards the top left corner. Palacios proceeded to make her most important save of the match, as she reacted quickly to keep it from finding the back of the net. That would be the final opportunity for either side, as UConn picked up their seventh win overall, and their fifth conference win of the season.
UConn now gets set for their penultimate match of the regular season against Seton Hall (2-7-0, 1-7-0 Big East), as they’ll travel to New Jersey to take on the Pirates on Saturday, April 3. The Huskies will look to complete another season sweep, this time against the Pirates. On the contrary, St. John’s will stay in Queens and host undefeated Georgetown (9-0-1, 7-0-1 Big East) at Beldon Stadium on Thursday, April 8. The Hoyas thrashed Villanova 7-0 in their most recent outing.