Oct. 4, 2013
ORLANDO, Florida – The UConn women’s soccer team fell to UCF in American Athletic Conference play on Friday evening. The Golden Knights, ranked 24th in the most recent NSCAA poll, earn their eighth win in a row for a total record of 8-2-1 and improve to 2-0 in the American. The Huskies suffer their first conference setback, falling to 2-1 in the AAC and 8-5-0 overall.
The first half featured back and forth play, with UCF owning a slight statistical advantage after the first 45 minutes of action. The Golden Knights logged eight first half shots while the Huskies earned five of their own. Stephanie Ribeiro played the role of catalyst on the UConn offense, letting loose several good attempts and providing great touches to teammates that nearly resulted in an early Husky lead with about ten minutes remaining in the half.
UCF initiated the scoring with 7:37 remaining in the first half on freshman Lena Petermann’s fourth goal of the season. A UConn clear attempt deflected back to Kristina Trujic, who maneuvered through the UConn defense and played a centering ball across the six yard box for Petermann to redirect into the back of the net. UCF nearly increased its lead three minutes before the intermission. UConn goaltender Emily Armstrong challenged Petermann in the box, but the UCF forward maintained possession and crossed a ball that was touched just wide of net.
UConn charged back in the second half looking for the equalizer and strung together a series of quality chances in the opening twelve minutes. Rachel Hill earned a good look off a long through ball with about ten minutes elapsed. The freshman tracked down a ball on the far side of the box and ripped a shot that Golden Knight’s keeper Lianne Maldonado blocked with one hand. With no other Huskies in proximity, she was able to collect the rebound uncontested.
The Golden Knights took advantage of a UConn breakdown with three quick goals in a 2:12 span to break the game open in the middle of the second half. Alex Piercy ignited the surge with a header off a corner at 58:25. Fifty-four seconds later, Piercy put home her second straight UCF corner with another header. Seventy-eight seconds later, Lena Petermann matched Piercy and recorded her second of the game by chipping the ball over a charging Armstrong to round out UCF’s scoring.
Refusing to give up, the Huskies fought back and scored their only marker with 17:00 remaining. Rachel Hill’s efforts resulted in a breakaway goal for her tenth of the season to get the Huskies on the board. Hill, the reigning AAC Offensive Player of the Week, has tallied at least one goal in each of her last four outings.
Armstrong and Maldonado both made three saves apiece in net for their teams. UCF finished with a 16-11 edge in shots and each team finished with three corners.
The Huskies will look to rebound for another conference win as they conclude their Florida set on Sunday against USF at 1pm.