STORRS, Conn. -- A first-half goal from Rachel Hill and a late winner from Samantha McGuire helped the UConn women’s soccer team erase an early deficit in a 2-1 win over Navy on Sunday afternoon at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The win improves the Huskies to 2-0-0 on the young season, while the Mids fall to 0-2-0.
Navy jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) found an equalizer for UConn in the 31st minute. The teams played even until late in the contest, before McGuire (Fishkill, N.Y.) blasted home the game-winner in the 77th minute. UConn out-shot Navy by a slim 15-13 margin and held an 8-5 edge in shots on goal.
UConn goalkeeper Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) made four saves to pick up her second win of the season. Liana Hinds (Hartford, Conn.) and Julie Hubbard (Waverly, Pa.) registered assists for Connecticut, setting up the first and second goals of the day, respectively. Danielle Gottwik (New Port Richey, Fla.) led all players with three shots on target for the Huskies.
The best chance early for the Huskies came from Hill in the 10th minute. The UConn forward made a move on a Navy defender to free up some space at the top of the penalty area before firing a hard shot that hit the crossbar. The Mids had their best early look in the 20th minute when Rachel Hunter took a shot from the right edge of the box, but Armstrong dove across the cage to corral the attempt.
Navy got on the board with the first goal of the contest in the 26th minute. Julie Schumacher started the play with a long ball to Natalie Dzhandzhapanyan in the midfield, who was able to flick-on a header into the box. Morgan Dankanich was there waiting, and snuck a shot past Armstrong to put the Mids up 1-0.
The early lead was short-lived, with UConn striking back in the 31st minute. Hinds found some space wide of the box and sent in a high, floating cross. Hill was able to out-muscle the Navy defense for position and headed home her second goal in as many games to equalize for the Huskies.
The Huskies found the go-ahead goal late in the second half. In the 77th minute, Hubbard worked deep into the box and gained room for a back-pass to McGuire. The junior forward stepped into the pass and fired a hard shot from the left edge of the box into the top right corner of the cage, putting UConn ahead, 2-1.
Navy tried to press forward as time dwindled, but Armstrong came off her line and punched aside a late free kick chance before she made a save on a 90th minute header from Caprice Kelty that sealed the victory for UConn.
Up next, the Huskies hit the road for a pair of contests against top regional rivals. First up is a visit to Penn State on Friday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. contest on Sept. 1 at former Big East rival Syracuse.
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