This Sunday at 4:00 p.m., the Connecticut Huskies women’s soccer team will face the University at Albany at Bob Ford Field in Albany. UConn is looking to notch its third win of the season, while UAlbany attempts to get its first.
UConn hopes to avoid a repeat of its loss to Boston College, where things fell apart early when they allowed two goals in the game’s first 25 minutes. This upcoming game should provide a better match-up for the Huskies based on the Massi Computer Rankings, which places UConn at No. 86, compared to UAlbany at No. 205. Despite the large ranking differential, the site only has the Huskies as a one goal favorite over the Great Danes if the teams played on a neutral field.
Thus far this season, UAlbany has been unable to gain any momentum. The Great Danes have a record of 0-2-1, losing games to a strong Hofstra team as well as Central Connecticut. Their sole tie of the season was against Cornell, ranked No. 193. Their scheduled game against Quinnipiac University on Wednesday, Sept. 1 was cancelled due to the heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
The Great Danes were picked to finish at No. 5 in the America East this fall — a conference recently dominated by Stony Brook University.
UAlbany is led by senior forward Jasmine Colbert, who won America East Striker of the year in 2020 — a season where she netted five goals and added an assist in just nine games played. This season has been a bit slower so far for Colbert, who has only scored once and has no assists in her three contests. She does lead the way for the Great Danes in shots, collecting seven of the team’s 25, including a season-high of four in their opening loss against Hofstra.
Another player to watch out for is fifth-year senior goalkeeper Sophia Chen, who was a top performer for UAlbany last year. The goalie led the conference in total shutouts, but has had a bit more trouble keeping the ball out of the net this season. Chen has allowed two goals in each of the team’s three games so far while collecting a total of 13 saves overall.
For the Huskies, the player to watch is Isabelle Lynch. Lynch was UConn’s leading goal scorer last year as a junior, but has not converted thus far this year. She has historically been most impactful when used as a spark off the bench, but she has started the last two games. How Coach Margaret Rodriguez uses Lynch should be interesting and could alter the direction of the game.
It will also be interesting to see if star midfielder Jessica Mazo will suit up. Mazo was named to the preseason All-Big East team but has not played since the season opener at Central Connecticut.
This match will be critical for both teams. UAlbany is looking for its first win of the season, hoping to defend its home turf against a strong visitor, while UConn will be looking to get back in the win column after a tough defeat. The game can be viewed on America East TV.