Women’s Soccer Can’t Keep Up With Okafor-Led UConn

Coming off a hard earned draw against Seton Hall, Marist women’s soccer looked to make a statement against another Big East opponent in UConn, but this would not be an easy task as Marist would fall short to UConn 5-0. 

The Huskies offense has outshot opponents 47-3 in their last two contests. They also were outsourcing foes 6-1 heading into this match against the Red Foxes.

This was immediately apparent as UConn’s offense looked like a well-oiled machine and ran a lot of their offense through sophomore forward Chioma Okafor. Okafor could often be seen lurking around the 18-yard box whenever the ball was pushed up the field.

Okafor’s first scoring chance came from a perfectly placed cross from junior defender Laci Lewis fell right onto the head of Okafor who put the ball into the back of the net putting the Huskies up 1-0. 

UConn continued to push, but back-to-back outstanding saves from senior goalie Kelly Lambertson kept the deficit at one.

The Huskies continued to dominate offensively, taking 6 corner kicks in the first half alone. Eventually, senior defender Chloe Landers connected on a tap-in. The tap-in was Landers’ first career goal and it stretched the lead to 2-0 for the Huskies as the first half came to a close.

Lambertson faced a lot of action in the first half and despite the two goals she gave up, the keeper had a couple of remarkable saves. 

However, Marist once again went with the goalie switch at halftime and sophomore Maddy Catalanotti checked into the game to start the second half. 

This switch did not disrupt the Huskies momentum one bit. The Red Foxes would continuously turn the ball over in the midfield and struggled to get any tempo going against UConn. 

On yet another strong UConn drive, graduate student forward Cara Jordan ripped a shot off the post and it landed at the feet of Okafor who netted her second goal of the game and third of the season making the score 3-0. 

The Red Fox defense looked extremely worn down as the game progressed resulting in a UConn goal by freshman midfielder Anaya Johnson, who registered her first career goal and assist tonight. Johnson’s goal would give UConn a 4-0 lead. 

Later in the game, another Husky freshman Alayna Taylor scored her first goal, nailing a tough angled shot over the head of Catalanotti, increasing the lead to 5-0. 

The Red Foxes were out shot 24-1 in this contest and they simply could not connect on any passes or set designs. Marist looks to leave this performance behind them and prepare for their conference opener at Rider on Saturday, September 9th.

Edited by Aidan Lavin

Photo Credit Jaylen Rizzo

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