The UConn women’s soccer team looks to snap their two game losing streak and return to winning ways against Seton Hall on Thursday, Sept. 30. at 6 p.m. at the Owen T. Carroll Field.
The Huskies (4-4-0, 0-1-0 Big East) fell to the St John’s Red Storm in their first conference match of the season by a score line of 0-3. On the other hand, the Pirates (6-4-0, 1-1-0 Big East) get set for their third conference matchup of the season; they split their first two conference matches of the new campaign, as they beat Villanova 2-1 on Thursday, Sept. 23, but then fell to Butler 1-3 on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Despite being shutout in their previous two matches, UConn does have a multitude of players that can find the back of the net and make life hard for Seton Hall. Forwards Jada Konte and Duda Santin have two goals and one assist to their names, while fellow forward Jaydah Bedoya has one goal and two assists to her name. Finally, midfielder Cara Jordan has one goal and one assist to her name.
Seton Hall has a wide variety of goal scorers and playmakers as well. Forward Naomi Welch has four goals and three assists, while midfielder Julia Aronov has scored three goals and bagged one assist this season. Midfielders Natalie Tavana and Lauren Hooper have also been vital to Seton Hall’s success; Tavana has two goals and three assists to her name, while Hooper has scored twice and bagged one assist this season.
One of the main points of emphasis for Rodriguez after the St. John’s match was UConn’s play in the final third. “I thought we did well getting the ball up to some of our attacking personalities. We needed to attack the flanks a little better, and get more services into the box. We’re relying on a perfect pass,” Rodriguez told reporter Katherine Sheridan of UCTV Sports.
Furthermore, Rodriguez was able to find something positive despite the poor performance, and that was the defensive work by sophomore Chloe Landers. “She’s new back there, she’s a little inexperienced but I thought she had a hell of a game. I give a lot of credit to her; I think she did her job, and I think she just sealed herself a position back there,” she told Sheridan.
In their match against the Red Storm, UConn lined up with Kaitlyn Mahoney in goal, and a backline that consisted of defenders Chloe Landers, Laci Lewis, Evelyn Arsenault and Jackie Harnett. Lucy Cappadona, Jessica Mazo, Emma Zaccagnini and Cara Jordan lined up in midfield, while Jaydah Bedoya and Duda Santin made up the forward partnership. There is no guarantee, however, that the Huskies will line up with this same starting 11 in the match to come as every starting lineup this season has seen variation.
On the other hand, Seton Hall’s starting lineup has remained consistent for most of the season, which means they will most likely line up in the same way they did in their last match against Butler. Grace Gordon would be in goal, while the backline would consist of Lauren DiPietro, Dani Brinckman, Chiara Pucci and Emily Arellano. Laura Hooper, Cara Milne-Redhead, Emma Ramsay and Natalie Tavana would make up the midfield, while Naomi Welch and Sophie Liston would be the forward partnership.
UConn currently sits amongst the bottom three in the Big East table in ninth, while Seton Hall sits in sixth. The Huskies will need to show up against a fiery Pirate squad if they wish to begin their climb toward the top of the mountain.