Following the team’s first home loss of the season, the UConn women’s soccer team (6-3-5, 3-1-3 Big East) went on the road this week to take on two Big East opponents in the Midwest.
On Thursday afternoon, the Huskies were searching for the team’s first road win of the season as they faced DePaul University (5-6-3, 1-4-2 Big East), who were seeking their own first home win in over a month.
Connecticut dominated in the first half, led by midfielder Jessica Mazo. The graduate student assisted midfielder Anaya Johnson for her second career goal in the 13th minute. The Bridgeport, Connecticut native followed it up with her second goal of the season, assisted by forward Cara Jordan in the 23rd minute to give the Huskies a commanding 2-0 lead early on.
It didn’t take long for that two-goal lead to become a three-goal lead, as forward Abbey Jones found the back of the net from just outside the box a mere 65 seconds after Mazo’s goal.
Defender Chloe Landers closed out the near-flawless first half with her second goal of the season. The only flaw the team had was six total shots allowed, including two on goal by the Blue Demons. However, goalkeeper Kaitlyn Mahoney was able to save both shots on goal.
DePaul’s offense disappeared in the second half, recording zero total shots.
It was such a blowout that Mahoney did not finish the match. Junior MaryKate Ward was in the net for the final 13 minutes, completing the shutout. The Holliston, Massachusetts native saw the field for the first time since her injury last season.
UConn’s offense may have slowed down the goal-scoring, which didn’t come to a full stop until the 89th minute as forward Brooke Walonis scored her second career goal to cap off a 5-0 win for UConn in Chicago.
The Huskies have now recorded back-to-back wins against the Blue Demons and hold a 9-1 record dating back to 2006.
With the win, the Huskies earned three Big East points heading into Sunday’s match against Butler University (5-6-5, 1-2-4 Big East).
The Bulldogs were looking to put an end to their ties and losses, making up a four-match streak heading into Sunday’s match against Connecticut. Butler has not had a win at home since mid-September.
There were only nine total shots between the two teams and only four on goal combined. Both offenses increased their total shot count in the second half as each team grew desperate to get the upper hand in the match.
The Huskies outshot the Bulldogs in both halves, finishing with a 15-11 advantage on total shots.
UConn had six shots on goal in comparison to just two for Butler, but neither team could find the back of the net.
The best chance for the Huskies came in the 51st minute, with Mazo’s shot coming off the crossbar. Despite a rebound attempt in the air by Jordan, her shot airmailed over the net.
Butler had two opportunities to score, once in each half. In the 39th minute, forward Abigail Isger was fed by midfielder Becky Dean, but her shot was saved by Mahoney. In the 89th minute, forward Norah Jacomen sent a crossing pass to midfielder Talia Sommer for one last chance, but the shot was just over the crossbar.
Mazo capped off a strong individual week, leading UConn with five shots. Points leader Chioma Okafor added three and Johnson recorded two. Okafor had an opportunity to break the scoreless tie in the 31st minute but was stopped by Butler goalkeeper Anna Pierce, who tied her career-high for saves with six.
Despite 29 combined fouls, the physicality between the two teams did not result in any cautions.
Connecticut remains winless against Butler with a record of 0-4-1. They have only scored once against the Bulldogs in the team’s first-ever meeting back in 2021.
A tie resulted in a four-point road trip for the Huskies. It’s the first time the program earned that many points on a long road trip since 2016.
UConn now sits in fourth place in the Big East standings with just three games remaining.
Following the 5-0 loss, DePaul remained scoreless on Sunday afternoon, tying with Seton Hall on the road. They will look to find the back of the net on Thursday afternoon against Creighton.
Butler looks to put an end to their five-match winless streak as they host Seton Hall on Thursday night.
For UConn, they will wrap up their home schedule on Thursday night as they host Villanova at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs.