Sept. 26, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn women's soccer team defeated Southern Methodist University by a score of 2-1 in its inaugural American Athletic Conference match. The Huskies improve to 7-4 on the season while the loss drops the Mustangs to 5-4 overall.
The first half belonged to UConn, as the Huskies outshot the Mustangs 17-5 over the first forty-five minutes of play. UConn freshman forward Rachel Hill opened the scoring with her team-leading sixth goal of the season with only 7:37 elapsed in the first half. Hill capitalized on the game's first shot on net 25 yards out, unleashing a low line drive that snuck past the hands of SMU's Shannon Moroney and slipped inside the left goal post to put the Huskies on top. After several UConn misses from close range, SMU evened the match barely five minutes later following a picked pass at midfield. Forward Kelsey Gorney played a cross that found Shelby Redman sliding through the box at 11:36.
The Huskies responded with an offensive charge that led to a number of good chances. Stephanie Ribeiro's tenacious efforts resulted in several excellent tries, with her best attempt from 28 yards out bending hard and nicking off the outside of the right post in the 31st minute. In the 11th minute Ribeiro redirected a nifty pass to teammate Samantha McGuire, who streaked down the right side of the field on a breakaway. Marroney made a good save of the McGuire chance to keep the game deadlocked.
UConn would not be denied, however, as sophomore Julie Hubbard notched her second tally of the year to round out the scoring 41:30 into the first frame. Hubbard drilled a low shot from 25 yards out that found its way inside the right post to give the Huskies the 2-1 edge heading into the halftime.
Working hard to close the gap in the second half, the Mustangs were unable to overcome the deficit in the face of a formidable Husky offense. Hubbard threatened for a second goal midway through the second half on a blistering shot that just cleared the crossbar and sailed out of play. SMU surged late in the game in a final effort but were unable to log the equalizer, as Emily Armstrong and the Husky defense stood tall in the closing minutes.
Armstrong (7-4) logged all 90 minutes between the woodwork for the Huskies, allowing one goal en route to her seventh victory of the season. In the Mustang cage Shannon Moroney (2 goals against, 3 saves) played the first 45:00 before giving way to Lauryn Bodden (0 goals against, 6 saves), who played the remaining 45:00. UConn outshot SMU 28-8 but only finished with a 10-8 edge in corner kicks.
UConn returns to action with another conference opponent in Houston on Sunday, September 29th for a 1:00 pm showdown at Morrone Stadium.