The UConn women’s soccer team (5-2-4, 2-0-2 Big East) looks to remain undefeated at home as they host Xavier University (9-2-2, 2-0-2 Big East), who will be coming off a match against No. 12 Georgetown on Thursday night.
The Huskies are coming off back-to-back ties against Georgetown and Marquette University, ending a two-match winning streak to begin Big East play.
Goalkeeper Kaitlyn Mahoney has made one opponent after another fail to find the back of the net. She earned a spot on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll with six saves in two matches while not allowing a goal. She recorded her sixth and seventh shutouts against the Hoyas and Golden Eagles and currently is tied for the most shutouts in the conference.
Xavier is receiving votes in the latest United Soccer Coaches Poll and is currently ranked 46th in the Massey Ratings. Defender Madison Ayson was also named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll after leading the Musketeers’ defense with one goal allowed and holding opponents to 11 shots in two matches.
Before the Georgetown match, which will happen after this is written, they tied at Seton Hall University 1-1. They have been more impressive on the road compared to the Huskies, with a record of 4-1-1, including a 3-0 shutout win at DePaul University.
Midfielder Samantha Wiehe leads Xavier in points with 13 and has had five goals in 13 games. The only other player with five goals is forward Shelby Sallee, who typically comes off the bench. She is second in points on the team with 10.
Forward Regan Dancer is back, to the dismay of the Huskies. She scored the only goal in a 1-0 win last season in Cincinnati. She has two goals this season and has mainly come off the bench for the Musketeers.
Goalkeeper Maria Galley has started all 13 matches and has allowed eight goals, accounting for a goals-against average of 0.62 and a save percentage of .830. It’s a homecoming match for her, as she grew up in South Windsor, and it will be her first time playing in Connecticut since her senior year at South Windsor High School.
No one on the UConn team has scored a goal in two matches. The Huskies’ last goal was shot by forward Abbey Jones, who scored the game-winner in a thrilling finish against St. John’s University.
Connecticut forward Chioma Okafor still leads the Huskies with four goals and ten points.
At home, the Huskies have been strong on defense. In their draw against Marquette, they held the Golden Eagles to just two shots, both on goal.
UConn has only played Xavier twice, losing both times by a score of 1-0. The Huskies will look for revenge against the Musketeers after falling to them in back-to-back years.
Sunday’s match will be important as Connecticut looks to find its offense again while continuing to keep its identity as a strong defensive team. Both teams are currently in a tie for second in the Big East standings, which will change for the better or worse depending on the result of Xavier’s match against Georgetown, who currently is two points ahead in first place in the conference standings.
Following Sunday’s match, which serves as the Huskies’ Breast Cancer Awareness game, UConn will take a road trip to DePaul University and Butler University. Xavier will return home to take on St. John’s the following week.
Sunday’s match will be at Morrone Stadium at 1 p.m. If unable to attend, the match will be available to watch on FloSports.