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Notebook: Both UConn soccer teams picked to finish fourth in East Division

Neither squad landed a single player on the Big East’s All-Preseason team, either while the men’s soccer team’s non-conference schedule is coming into focus.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Two weeks ago, we got our first taste of college soccer in 15 months when the Big East announced it will hold a spring soccer season. Now, there’s already bulletin board material for UConn men’s and women’s soccer.

In the preseason coaches’ polls, the Huskies’ men’s and women’s teams were both picked to finish fourth out of six teams in their respective East Divisions for the upcoming 2021 spring season. Coaches couldn’t vote for their own teams and only voted for other teams in the same division.

But that’s not all for bulletin board material. Neither the men nor the women landed anyone on the Preseason All-Big East teams.

For the men, it seemed like Felix Metzler and Robin Lapert were perhaps worthy of consideration while on the women’s side, goalkeeper Randi Palacios was the team’s best player last year. But to be fair, it’s hard to make that list as a goalie and these coaches didn’t see either team play last year. UConn soccer is entering a new conference, so familiarity is not necessarily at its highest right now.

As a reminder, the Big East spring season will see the conference split into two regional divisions with each team playing home-and-homes with everyone else in their division. For the men, Georgetown, Providence and St. John’s sit above the Huskies in the preseason ranks while Georgetown, Villanova and Providence were picked above the women’s team.

Margaret Rodriguez’s squad will begin Big East play on March 4 at home against Providence, though UConn is expected to play a few non-conference games prior to that.

Men’s soccer’s out of conference slate taking shape

UConn men’s soccer’s out of conference schedule is coming into focus. The Huskies open play on Saturday, Feb. 6 with an exhibition vs. Fordham at the new Morrone Stadium. They will then host New Hampshire on Friday, Feb. 12 for another exhibition. UConn’s first regular season game is currently set to start on Saturday, Feb. 20 against Vermont.

While more games may still be added, those are three solid home matches to break in Morrone Stadium before the conference opener vs. Providence on Feb. 27. The New Hampshire tilt in particular is enticing since the Wildcats went 15-2-1 in 2019 before bowing out to Virginia Tech in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

With everything falling into place, keep an eye out for a larger preview of UConn soccer’s spring season.