The UConn women’s soccer team (3-2-1) will finish their non-conference schedule at home against the University at Buffalo (3-1-2) on Saturday night.
The Huskies suffered their second loss of the season on Sunday night as they fell to Yale University 1-0. They have not won a match on the road yet this season. Despite the loss, they outshot the Bulldogs 20-8 and had 11 corner kicks to three. Forward Chioma Okafor led the team with five shots and three on goal. However, the difference was Yale goalkeeper Marisa Shorrock making 11 saves and junior Ellie Rappole scoring the match’s only goal at 31:46. Midfielders Sophie McCarthy and Jessica Mazo each had three shots. Forward Cara Jordan could not take advantage of a massive one-on-one opportunity.
Connecticut has been nearly flawless at home this season, with a 3-0-1 record and shutting out every opponent so far. In the last home game, Okafor scored two goals and now leads the team in goals and points with three and seven, respectively. Okafor was named to Monday’s Big East Weekly Honor Roll thanks to her performance in the past few matches.
Midfielder Lucy Cappadona was also named to the conference’s weekly honor roll after helping the Huskies outshoot their opponents 44-9, had the edge on shots on goal 23-3, and gained an advantage on corner kicks 19-4. In their win over Marist College, UConn outshot the Red Foxes 24-1, with no shots on goal in a 5-0 shutout victory. She has shown that she can go the distance, having played a full match already this season.
The Bulls are coming off a 1-1 draw to Cornell University on Sunday afternoon and are 3-0-1 on the road so far. Sophomore Katie Krohn nearly helped set up the go-ahead goal early, passing to midfielder Olivia Bizzoni, who then centered the ball to freshman Mika Marolly, who could not put the shot past Cornell’s goalkeeper. Midfielder Sarah Woods had two opportunities in the first half, including a shot on goal, but could not find the back of the net. Cornell broke the shutout tie at 40:08, but Krohn scored the team’s only goal at 57:15 to tie the match. Freshman Lexie Thompson, who will likely get the start as goalkeeper for the Bulls, made five saves and allowed one goal on Sunday. In the five matches she has played, she has allowed four goals and has a save percentage of .778. Buffalo was outshot on goal 6-5, but had a 10-7 advantage in total shots.
Buffalo is led by Krohn, leading the team with four goals and nine points. They have had two MAC Players of the Week this season: defenders Emily Lazenby and Ellie Simmons. Lazenby is a fifth-year who used to play at the University of Memphis, sharing a conference with the Huskies during her freshman year.
Buffalo is tied for the least amount of goals allowed in the MAC, with four through six games played. They are also the most disciplined team in the MAC, committing the least fouls and yellow cards.
The Bulls were selected to win the conference, receiving seven of 12 first-place votes. They have faced more difficult opponents this season, with a 2-1 loss to No. 14 Pittsburgh and a 2-1 win over Ohio State, currently ranked No. 60 in Massey Ratings, while the Huskies are ranked No. 96. Buffalo should not be the toughest test for Connecticut, having already played Harvard University, ranked No. 33 in the Massey Ratings.
The two schools last met in 2021, where the Huskies were shut out 2-0 in the season’s non-conference finale. In that match, Buffalo struck first early at 5:26 and put the match away with a second goal at 71:01. The Bulls outshot the Huskies 13-11 and had the advantage on goal 8-5. There are a handful of players that will be facing Buffalo for the second time in their career, including goalkeeper Kaitlyn Mahoney; defenders Chloe Landers, Jackie Harnett and Laci Lewis; midfielders Jordan, Mazo, Cappadona, Abbey Jones, Emma Zaccagnini and Joyce Ryder.
It will be the third match against a MAC opponent UConn will face since 2005, losing the previous two. Since 2009, the Bulls are 1-3 against Big East opponents, including two losses to the University of Pittsburgh when they were in the conference.
Following the non-conference finale, UConn will continue a three-game home stand with its Big East opener against Creighton University on Thursday night. Buffalo will go on the road to begin their MAC schedule against the University of Akron.
UConn will take on Buffalo on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at Morrone Stadium. If you’re unable to attend, the match will be live-streamed on UConn+.