Oct. 14, 2011
STORRS, Conn.- Linda Ruutu and Jessica Dulski lifted the UConn women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over BIG EAST foe Pittsburgh as Ruutu scored the lone goal and Dulski tallied five saves on Friday evening. With the win, the Huskies are now 7-6-2 overall and 4-3-2 in the BIG EAST and the Panthers fell to 2-11-4 and 1-6-2 in conference play.
"We did a great job at putting the ball away in the first half and managing the game in the second half," stated assistant coach Margaret Rodriguez.
Pittsburgh wasted no time breaking the UConn defense and having a shot at the net less than twenty seconds into the game. The two squads exchanged possession of the ball the rest of the first half with UConn tallying 14 shots and Pittsburgh with 10.
Junior forward Linda Ruutu (Espoo, Finland) gave the Huskies a 1-0 advantage in the 32:21 minute when she drilled the ball from 30 yards out on the left side of the field over the head of Panther keeper Kristina Rioux. Ruutu now has six points on the season with two goals and two assists.
Senior defender Danielle Dakin (Wilbraham, Mass.) played shutdown defense aiding the Husky shutout from start to finish blocking three shots and clearing several threatening balls.
With 15 minutes remaining in regulation, the Huskies gave the crowd of over 1,800 an exciting three minutes of action that started with redshirt junior forward Danielle Schulmann (Saddle River, N.J.) charging to the goal as Rioux drew a yellow card taking Schulmann down. Ruutu nearly added her second goal of the night as she sent the free kick sailing over a wall of Pitt defenders with the ball knocking the bottom of the crossbar. Sophomore Devin Prendergast (Babylon, N.Y.) and freshman Riley Houle (Columbia, Conn.) added two more shots that would blocked and hit the crossbar, respectively.
Despite the Panthers having several chances in the final minutes, Dulski and the defense stood strong and ended the game in a 1-0 defeat of their conference opponent.
"Dulski came up big for us in the end of the game making some great saves and once we got the ball to Linda's feet she was able to play the ball well," finished Rodriguez.
Connecticut concluded the night with 24 shots with four corner kicks as Pittsburgh finished with 15 shots and seven corner kicks. Dulski improved to 7-6-2 on the season with five saves and Rioux finished the night with four.
The Huskies will host BIG EAST opponent No. 24/20 West Virginia on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. Before the game on Sunday, the Huskies will honor their six seniors. Forward Cory Bildstein, forward Alexandra Garufi, forward Samantha Kelley, defender Courtney Wilkinson-Maitland, forward Jessica Shufelt and goalkeeper Jessica Dulski will all be recognized.
In addition to the seniors, the women's soccer program will honor long-time CPIA counselor, John Miceli. Miceli retired in September after working with the program since 1988. Also, the Huskies will welcome previous women's soccer players for an alumni reunion on Sunday.