The University of Connecticut women’s soccer team fell to the University at Buffalo by a scoreline of 2-0 on Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The Huskies (4-3-0) have failed to win more than one consecutive game for the fourth week in a row, while the Bulls (6-1-0) were able to extend their winning streak to six games.
Saturday marked the first time that both schools faced each other in women’s soccer, and each respective squad wanted to make history by winning the first game in the series. The Buffalo marched into Storrs in red hot form; they had not conceded a goal in three consecutive matches, and had just thrashed the University of Duquesne by a scoreline of 4-0.
On the other hand, UConn had bounced back from a 5-0 loss against Brown University, as they defeated Syracuse University 3-0 on Sunday, Sept. 12. Head coach Margaret Rodriguez and her squad would look to continue this form going into Saturday’s tough match against a fiery Buffalo side.
The Huskies lined up with Kaitlyn Mahoney in goal, and a backline that consisted of Chloe Landers, Kara Long and Jackie Harnett. The midfield was made up of Sofia Weber, Lucy Cappadona, Jessica Mazo, Emma Zaccagnini and Jordan Cara. Finally, the strike partnership consisted of forwards Jada Konte and Jaydah Bedoya.
Buffalo put the pressure on UConn from the beginning of the match. Mahoney was called into action early, as she had to make a diving stop to her left to keep out a shot from Buffalo midfielder Leah Wengender in the third minute. The Bulls pressure would eventually be too much for the Huskies to handle as, three minutes later, midfielders Katherine Camper and Gianna Yurchak would combine to find Buffalo forward Marcy Barberic, who slotted it past Mahoney to give the Bulls the advantage.
The Huskies would begin to build momentum soon after, however. In the 15th minute, UConn was able to get a corner kick, and in the 18th minute, Cappadona got the ball out from under her feet and attempted a shot on goal. While both chances went in vain, it demonstrated a fluidity in attack that had not been seen in the opening stages of the match.
Mazo would call Buffalo goalkeeper Emily Kelly back into action in the 24th minute, as a shot by the UConn midfielder forced Kelly to dive to her right in order to prevent the ball from going into the back of the net. Jordan would also attempt to get the ball past the Bulls stopper, but Kelly was there once again to deny the chance.
The Husky offense was stagnant for the opening 15 minutes of the second half. That was, until Konte hit a shot that was headed towards the bottom right corner had it not been for the outstretched arms of Kelly, who denied UConn’s forward from finding the back of the net.
Husky second string goalkeeper Marykate Ward would replace Mahoney in the second half, and was called into action on various occasions throughout the period. She was able to deny the Bulls a second goal throughout the opening and midway stages of the half, but the Buffalo pressure would ultimately be too much to handle, and in the 72nd minute, midfielder Abbey Callaghan found fellow midfielder and sibling Hannah Callaghan, who was able to sneak the ball past Ward to score and put the game to rest.
Both teams begin their conference schedule on Thursday, Sept. 23. The Bulls get set to take on Mid-American Conference rival Ohio, while the Huskies prepare for battle against St. John’s at 7 p.m. at the Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.