The UConn women’s soccer team looked to bounce back from a disappointing loss against St. John’s last weekend. The team’s slate of games boasted No. 19 Georgetown University and a more level match against Marquette University. They had shown lots of success against teams around Marquette’s level, winning its three prior games before the St. John’s loss quite comfortably. But against ranked teams, such as No. 4 South Carolina, they haven’t had much success, suffering a 3-0 defeat. UConn was searching for a better result, and for the most part, they got it. The Huskies lost 1-0 to Georgetown on Thursday but remained competitive throughout the game. They followed that up with a 2-1 victory against Marquette on Sunday, preserving their record above 0.500.
Unlike UConn 2021’s showdown with Georgetown, this game had the Huskies working hard. The Hoyas started out fast, catching UConn off guard. They stayed in the offensive end for a large part of the half, outshooting the Huskies 5-3. The first goal almost came off a corner kick for Georgetown, when the ball found its way to the top of the box for Eliza Turner, who chipped it just high 18 minutes in.
Four minutes later, junior Jada Konte drew a free kick, with senior Jackie Harnett taking it. It rebounded off the defense and out to senior Cara Johnson, whose point-blank attempt was saved.
The sole goal was Georgetown’s, coming just four minutes after that. Claire Manning handled a cross, chipping the ball over freshman goalkeeper Adyson Duran. With just six minutes left, Georgetown almost doubled that lead on a cross to the back post, but it was blocked by junior Sofia Weber.
Coming out of the half, UConn came out faster and more aggressive. The team finished the second half with five fouls, five more than they had in the first half. Fouls aren’t something to brag about, but show their change in aggression between halves.
The Hoyas’ Maja Lardner, who came in as a substitute, had a point-blank shot saved by Duran 11 minutes into the period. Konte had a massive strike from the right-wing with 12 minutes remaining, but that was handled by Georgetown with ease. Just a minute later she tried again, this time with a deep strike from the middle of the field, with the same result. Georgetown countered well in the second half, firing a number of shots on Duran, but the keeper held her ground and didn’t allow another goal in the 1-0 defeat. Despite the loss, the team did play fairly well. Duran was crucial to that effort, with her seven saves going a long way to keeping the team in the game.
After a disappointing yet encouraging game against Georgetown, the team set its sights on Marquette. It remained relatively competitive in the first half, even with UConn being the seemingly better team. It did not take long for the Huskies to score, with it coming four minutes into the game from a corner by senior Cara Jordan. It was headed back to Jordan, who sent it back in off a Marquette defender’s head. It went right to junior Lucy Cappadona, who headed it off the crossbar and in for her second goal of the year.
Corners were a significant part of the attack in the first half, with there being a massive 10 of them. For most of the other attempts, the result tended to be a close chance halted by the defense. However, it wasn’t just a one-sided affair. The Golden Eagles had a good chance 20 minutes in, with Katie Koker punching one off the crossbar from outside the box, but it wasn’t until ten minutes later that they finally evened the score. A quick counterattack up the right wing resulted in a relatively easy knock in for Koker, who was able to finish this one in the close quarter build up. Junior Emma Zaccagnini had a massive strike from outside the box go off the post in the waning minutes of the half, but it remained tied after 45 minutes.
The draw was broken a mere 30 seconds into the second half, where after the keeper missed a routine play on the ball, Konte tapped it in to give UConn the lead. It demonstrated how Connecticut would go on to dominate the half, shooting eight shots while allowing two. Marquette looked to respond 10 minutes later, with a deep and dangerous cross getting expertly picked off by junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Mahoney. With 18 minutes left, UConn had a chance to add an insurance goal off a Konte cross. Marquette saved it, but the play resulted in a triple collision that injured its keeper and defender, both of whom were subbed out. A free kick with six minutes remaining gave the Golden Eagles one final chance to tie it up, but it was blocked by Mahoney and cleared. After that it remained relatively uneventful, and UConn notched its sixth win of the season.
UConn should feel relatively happy with the result of the two competitions, and that confidence will hopefully carry over into its next matchup against Xavier. The Musketeers have shown themselves to be one of the better teams in the nation and aren’t that far off from the difficulty that Georgetown brings. UConn will need to come into the game with the same confidence it did against Georgetown if it wants to extend this win streak. Xavier is another tough away game, but the last two games have prepared the Huskies well.