Women’s Soccer: UConn splits Big East opening weekend against Creighton and St. John’s

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UConn headed west Thursday as it took on the Creighton Bluejays to kick off Big East play and handed CU their fourth loss of the season.  

The 4-2-1 Huskies presented a strong matchup against the 4-1-3 Bluejays, as both teams took some time to find their rhythm in the first half. Although play remained scoreless for the first 45 minutes, both UConn and Creighton had promising opportunities that never found the back of the net.  

In her first career game in net, UConn freshman Adyson Duran made a series of early saves after a shot from Creigton’s Lara Kazanjian. Seconds later, Aida Kardovic took a shot into the bottom right but was recovered by Duran. On the offensive end, the Huskies only had two shots on frame in the first half compared to the Bluejays’ eight shots on goal.  

The Huskies eventually took the lead five minutes into the second half thanks to senior midfielder Jessica Mazo off an assist from Cara Elmendorf. Across the last two games, Elmendorf has shown her presence on the field as she has been able to create and facilitate scoring opportunities for the Huskies. The score remained 1-0 for greater part of the half as the Huskies maintained well. 

However, the Huskies were not out of the battle with Creighton not going away. In the 83rd minute, CU defender Peighton Steffen scored a goal unassisted, evening it to one goal apiece. With time not being on either team’s side it came down to the wire as each team looked to make their final push. Two minutes after Creighton evened the match, UConn senior forward Cara Jordan connected on an assist from forward Jada Konte putting the Huskies up late with just six minutes left in regulation. The Huskies won in late fashion 2-1 and advanced to 5-2-1 on the season and are 1-0 in conference play.  

The Huskies continued their Big East tour on Sunday, taking on the 3-3-3 St. John’s Red Storm. The Red Storm did not take long to get on the board. Senior midfielder Isabelle Aviza sent a left footed shot into the net in just the 14th minute of play. Connecticut countered with a shot by Emma Zaccagnini that was saved by Red Storm goalie Gina Muzi in the center of the net. Cara Jordan also got a foot on it a few moments later but was deflected out top of the net. Duda Santin, who has been sidelined for some time due to injury had a late shot that was saved to round out the half.

While UConn generated good shot selections, it was unable to get past Muzi for the second half of play. Aviza’s goal was the only score on the day as neither team was able to get past the other’s defense. Although UConn made outside runs and brought numbers into the box, it was unable to find the seams behind the Red Storm. This loss now puts the Huskies at 5-3-1 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. They are headed home to take on the Georgetown Hoyas on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.   

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