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UConn women’s soccer picked to finish sixth in Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Sophomore forward Chioma Okafor landed on the all-preseason team as well.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s soccer came in at No. 6 in the Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll — the same position where it finished the 2022 campaign. Sophomore forward Chioma Okafor landed on the All-Big East Preseason Team as well as the Huskies’ lone selection.

After a disappointing 8-6-2 mark last season, UConn returned over 10 key contributors — including four players who came back to use their bonus COVID year — and added a strong freshman class as well as a handful of transfers. In the team’s first exhibition on Wednesday against Fairfield, all 11 starters were either returners or upperclassmen but two of the team’s three goals were scored by freshmen.

Okafor will lead the attack after finding the back of the net a team-best six times last season. It’s been years since the Huskies had a player come through the program with as high of a ceiling as the sophomore forward — not only is she regarded as extremely coachable, Okafor is also ultra-athletic with a rare combination of speed, strength and agility.

Margaret Rodriguez is entering her sixth season at the helm of her alma mater. UConn has finished with a record above .500 in each of the last three years but just missed out on the Big East Tournament this past season.

Elsewhere in the conference, Georgetown topped the league with 10 of 11 first place votes, followed by Xavier, St. John’s, Butler and Creighton. Providence, Marquette, Villanova, DePaul and Seton Hall landed behind UConn.