The UConn women’s soccer team entered the week ranked 77th in the country, facing 152nd Providence and 192nd Villanova. Both were ranked behind the Huskies in the Big East standings, so some wins were expected. However, both Thursday’s away game against Villanova and Sunday’s home contest against Providence ended in 0-0 draws.
Both ends of the field were well defended at the start of the Villanova game. Crafty passes by both sides were turned away by the defense before it got too dangerous. There was a cross by Villanova that could’ve been a great opportunity, yet it was snapped up by junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Mahoney. A minute later, 20 minutes into the game, Husky senior Cara Jordan hit a great strike off her left foot from outside the box. It spiraled towards the top left of the goal, and was just deflected by the Wildcats goalkeeper, graduate student Megan McClay. A pair of corners came up empty as well.
The Huskies had 11 shots in the first half, while their keeper wasn’t tested with a single shot on net. At the 33 minute mark UConn was on the offensive again. Freshman Maddie Carroll ran up the right wing, crossing it to Jordan who shot it straight at Villanova’s McClay. UConn would have an additional 12 shots in the second half, while the Wildcats finally tested the net with five shots, three of which were on goal. A free kick taken by UConn rolled wide of the goal six minutes into the second, with a corner failing to capitalize as well.
Jordan had a deep cross off her left foot from the right wing, landing on goal for a Wildcats save with 30 minutes remaining. A Carroll shot 13 minutes later was chipped too high, and a missed header by junior Jada Konte off a corner in the waning minutes of the game all but sealed the draw.
Sunday’s game against Providence was much of the same. The Friars had a total of 12 fouls, six in the first and six in the second half, compared to the seven by the Huskies. The Huskies, as is relatively normal, outshot their opponents 13-9. Of course, none of those shots amounted to a goal. But five minutes into the game the ball actually did hit the back of the net. The Friars scored from a strike outside the box, only for it to get called off for offsides. UConn had some chances early on, but most of them flew too high.
A shot 25 minutes in from Jordan was also saved, as her angle was poor. Konte had a good run ten minutes later, but she opted to cross it instead of shoot it and the opportunity passed. Jordan had another shot float high, and she would finish the game with three total shots. The Friars almost took the lead with three minutes left in the half, with a point blank shot going wide. The game slowed down at the start of the second half, with no real chances materializing.
Fifteen minutes after the break, the Friars had another go off of a corner, with a header connecting well but shot straight to the keeper. They followed that up with another deep strike, which sailed over the net. The Huskies followed that up with a chance of their own, but freshman Chioma Okafor was called offsides. She would have a second attempt on a lefty strike outside the box, but the keeper laid out for the save. Then more controversy struck, when a Friar shot bounced off the arm of a Husky defender in the box, but the refs failed to call it a penalty. With only 13 minutes left, UConn dodged a bullet that could’ve ended the game right there. Okafor would take one more run with six minutes remaining, but her cross fell to no one in the box.
The matches concluded with zero goals scored by either team, and two draws were added to UConn’s record of 7-6-3. Their final game of the regular season comes Thursday Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. against Seton Hall, who sits at second-to-last in the Big East. They hope to finish the year off strong at home and secure a winning record for the third season in a row.