Ruutu hits game-winner with one second remaining in double-overtime.
Oct. 20, 2012
STORRS, Conn. – The Connecticut seniors stepped up when it mattered most for the Huskies as seniors midfielder Linda Ruutu connected on a cross from senior defender Danielle Dakin with one second remaining in double-overtime to give UConn a 3-2 win over Providence. The Huskies clinched the No. 4 seed in the BIG EAST’s American Division with the win and will host Rutgers in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship on Thursday.
Connecticut improved to 8-7-2 on the season and 4-5-1 in conference action, while Providence fell to 8-9-1 and 3-7-0 in the league. Saturday’s matchup was a repeat of last year’s regular season finale where the Friars ended the Huskies season with a 2-1 win. It was the first time in program history that UConn did not advance to the postseason.
The Huskies, who honored eight seniors before Saturday’s contest, concluded the evening outshooting the Friars 20-16 with PC taking six corner kicks to UConn’s four.
The Friars took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute when Friar midfielder Allison Walton took the ball the length of the field, defeated four Husky defenders and drilled the ball past UConn keeper Jess Montrose from 20 yards out to give Providence a 1-0 advantage at 21:48.
Plucenik dodged two PC defenders in the left corner of the box and tapped the ball to a waiting Skogerboe in the middle of the box. Skogerboe evened the match at 1-1 at the 26:37 mark from six yards out.
Once again Skogerboe and Plucenik teamed up for a Connecticut goal with Skogerboe finding the back of the net at 56:01. Skogerboe received a chip shot from Plucenik and took a shot from 12 yards out. The ball bounced off the Friar keeper and dribbled into the goal giving the Huskies a 2-1 edge. Skogerboe now has six goals on the season and Plucenik tallied her second and third assists of the year.
Sophomore defender Gianna Roma made an acrobatic stop in front of the Connecticut goal and attempted to clear the ball but it was grabbed from the air by Providence’s Courtney Maguire who nailed the ball from 20 yards out and tied the game at 2-2 in the 82nd minute.
The Huskies had several shot attempts in the final ticks of regulation but were unable to capitalize and the game was forced to overtime. It was the Huskies fourth overtime match of the 2012 campaign and the squad is now 2-0-2 in contests more than 90 minutes.
The first overtime period was a defensive battle with the teams only taking a combined three shots in the 10 minutes of action.
Ruutu had an excellent opportunity with six minutes remaining in the game on a free kick from the right side of the field approximately 20 yards out but the pass was deflected by Providence’s Laura DiClemente. The missed chance would not slow Ruutu down as she made a spectacular shot from 24 yards out as the scoreboard hit zero and gave the Huskies a 3-2 win.
Ruutu now has 11 points this season on three goals and five assists. The senior mid has hit two game-winners for the Huskies in 2012.
Freshman keepers Jess Montrose registered her first career win as she is now 1-2-1 after notching four saves on Saturday night, while Providence goalie Jessica Goudreault is 6-9-1 and finished the night with eight saves.
UConn head coach Len Tsantiris is now one victory shy of reaching the illustrious 500th career win mark. Tsantiris is in his 32nd season and now has a career record of 499-170-50 which ranks the second-highest win total among women’s soccer coaches nationally.