The UConn women’s soccer team finishes their season against Georgetown at Shaw Field on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. The Huskies (8-7-1, 4-4-1 Big East) need to get a result in order to solidify their position amongst the top six in the conference table, while the Hoyas (11-0-6, 7-0-2 Big East) will look to extend their undefeated season into the Big East Championship.
UConn currently sits in sixth place with 13 points in the conference table, which is the last possible Big East Championship seed. The Huskies sit one point above seventh place Marquette and eight place DePaul; moreover, they sit one point below fifth place Providence, and three points below fourth place St. John’s.
There are a lot of potential scenarios that can occur on the last Big East matchday, which may or may not shake things up depending on the nature of the results.
Only the first, second and third seeds are no longer up for grabs; Xavier finished the season in first place with 27 points, while Georgetown sits in second place with 23 points. Even if Butler (who sits in third place) were to win their last game of the season, it wouldn’t be enough to overtake Georgetown, as the Bulldogs would finish the season with 22 points in comparison to the Hoyas’ 23. Finally, Butler has solidified their position in third; even if St. John’s wins on Thursday and Butler loses, the fact that neither team owns the tiebreaker means that overall records would then have to be compared. The Bulldogs have a better record, which means they would remain in third even if the Red Storm were tied on points with them.
Margaret Rodriguez’s side are in a fairly difficult predicament. The Huskies definitely need a win on Thursday, but the chances of that coming against an invictus Georgetown side is slim to none. However, a draw can also be enough to save their season, and that is the more realistic option, considering the fact that the Hoyas have drawn six times this season, the most of any team in the conference.
However, destiny still does not lie in their own hands. This is because Marquette and DePaul face each other on Thursday; a win by either side would officially eliminate the Huskies from playoff contention, as either Marquette or DePaul could increase their point tally to 15 and overtake UConn in sixth.
Now, other possibilities still exist for Rodriguez’s side. If the Huskies fell to the Hoyas and Marquette and DePaul drew, then UConn would qualify to the tournament as the sixth seed. The reason this would occur is because UConn’s victory to Marquette earlier in the season means they hold the tiebreaker over the Golden Eagles. While it is true that DePaul holds the tiebreaker over UConn, they sit in eight place and would not be able to overtake Marquette if both sides drew, as the Golden Eagles have a better overall record than the Blue Demons.
Now, let’s just say the improbable occurs twice on Thursday; not only does UConn defeat undefeated Georgetown, but Providence falls to penultimate Seton Hall. The Huskies would overtake the Friars in fifth place, as they’d finish the regular season with 16 points in comparison to Providence’s 14. Moreover, if Marquette emerged victorious against DePaul (or vice versa), then either of them would solidify themselves in sixth with 15 points, and the Friars would be eliminated from playoff contention.
Continuing onwards, if Providence fell to Seton Hall, and UConn drew with Georgetown, the Huskies would still not be able to overtake the Friars. While neither side owns the tiebreaker, Providence would remain in fifth because they have the better overall record.
If St. John’s fails to win on Thursday and Providence defeats Seton Hall, then the Friars would move themselves up to the fourth seed. The Huskies would not have a chance of leapfrogging the Red Storm in to fifth, however, as St. John’s defeated UConn earlier in the season.
The task seems simple for the Huskies: win, and they’re in. In reality, however, it is not so black and white, especially when one takes into account that the opponent has yet to lose a single match this season. Ultimately, destiny does not lie in UConn’s own hands, as they will need a lot of things to go their way. The Huskies will have to do their part, and leave everything on the field in order to prolong their season.