Aug. 22, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – Rachel Hill converted a penalty kick early in the second half to lead the UConn women’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Hofstra on Friday night at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The contest was the first of the year for both squads, as UConn moves to 1-0-0 on the year and Hofstra to 0-1-0.
Hill, the American Athletic Conference Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year, led all players on the day with nine total shots, including four attempts on goal. The Huskies as a team out-shot the Pride 21-10, but the squads were even with seven shots on goal apiece. The American Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, UConn’s Emily Armstrong, made seven saves to record her seventh career clean sheet.
Riley Houle (Columbia, Conn.) supported Hill offensively with four shots, including two on goal. Amber Stobbs led the Hofstra charge with a pair of shots on goal, as six different HU players fired a shot on goal in the setback.
Hill was active from the jump, nearly converting on two chances early. In the sixth minute, she got deep in the box and took a cross from Samantha McGuire (Fishkill, N.Y.), but her shot was saved by Hofstra’s Friederike Mehring. She had another look in the 11th after a strong through-ball from Julie Hubbard (Waverly, Pa.), but Mehring was again up to the task.
In the 23rd minute, Hubbard nearly capitalized on a Hofstra turnover deep in its own zone, but her quick shot sailed wide. Freshman Brittany Moreau (Belchertown, Mass.) set up Danielle Gottwik (New Port Richey, Fla.) in 44th minute at the top of the box, but Gottwik’s shot sailed over the cage.
The Huskies finally converted early in the second half. Houle nearly put Connecticut ahead when she took an open look on goal, but an HU defender cleared the ball near the goal line momentarily. In the ensuing scrum, the Pride was called for a hand-ball on a shot in the box. Hill stepped up for the penalty kick and coolly tucked it past Mehring in the bottom right corner of the cage.
Hofstra’s best chance of the contest came in the 56th minute, when Stobbs worked her way deep into the UConn box for a pair of shots that were turned aside by acrobatic saves from Armstrong. Hill made a bid to double up in the 76th minute, but her header off a McGuire corner kick serve sailed over the cage.
Armstrong stood tall with Hofstra pushing forward late, and the UConn backline led by center backs Sabrina Toole (Westport, Conn.) and Gabrielle Charno (Seaford, N.Y.) was able to clear any Pride threat and seal the shutout.
The Huskies return to action on Sunday when they host Navy. Game-time at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium is set for 1 p.m.