The UConn women’s soccer team opened up their conference schedule with a tough 1-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats. The loss marked the first time UConn has lost multiple games at Morrone Stadium since 2014.
Despite the loss, head coach Len Tsantiris was pleased with the way his team played.
“We have not played like that yet, with the intensity and possession and everything else,” he said. “We hope this is a good start for the league even though we lost. If you play like that, it’s a good sign.”
The Huskies were aided with the debut of TCU transfer Courtney Hofer in goal. The senior missed the first nine games of the season with a head injury.
“It was fun,” Hofer said about her first game. “I’ve been playing this game forever so it’s just exciting to get back out there.”
The first half was back-and-forth with each team having chances at net but coming away with nothing to show for it.
It wasn’t until the second half that for either team had a legitimate opportunity. In the 50th minute, the Bearcats got behind UConn’s defense on a slotting pass but were stonewalled by Hofer with a point-blank save.
However, Cincinnati wasn’t done.
Not long after, Katy Couperus chipped the ball in for the Bearcats, forcing Hofer to recover back to the bar. The shot clanged off the crossbar back into the field of play, giving Jill Vetere an open chance on net. Hofer’s momentum took her into the net and she was unable to recover to make the save, allowing Vetere to finish and give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead.
In the 80th minute, the Huskies came just inches away from the equalizer. Kim Urbanek’s shot from 25 yards out went bar-down but Cincinnati keeper Madison Less prevented the ball did not completely cross the line, keeping UConn scoreless.
The Huskies would not find the net in the final 10 minutes as they fell 1-0 to the Bearcats. With the loss, UConn falls to 2-5-3 on the season and 0-1 in American play.
UConn will look to capture their first conference win on Sunday when they face-off against East Carolina. Kickoff is set for 1 pm at Morrone Stadium.