Oct. 24, 2013
PISCATAWAY, New Jersey – The Connecticut women’s soccer team handed Rutgers its first home loss of the season, defeating the Scarlet Knights by a score of 2-1 on Thursday evening. The Huskies earn a crucial three points in the American to gain the edge on Rutgers, jumping up to 15 points in conference play with an 11-7 overall record and a 5-3 showing in league action. The Scarlet Knights concede their third conference loss, dropping to 4-3-1 in the American and 11-4-2 overall. UConn owns the all-time series against Rutgers, improving to 16-2-4 against the Scarlet Knights.
UConn capitalized on its first shot of the game to take an early 1-0 lead over the Scarlet Knights on a chilly evening in New Jersey. The lethal pair consisting of Stephanie Ribeiro and Rachel Hill opened early for business this evening, wasting little time connecting on a score for the Huskies in the opening minutes of the half. Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.) zipped a through ball from the midfield around a backtracking Rutgers defense. Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) slipped between the two defenders and won the footrace to the ball, placing a hard shot under the arm of a diving Jessica Janosz. The Scarlet Knight’s keeper made contact with the ball but could not fully halt its momentum as it scooted under her and over the goal line just 5:00 into the game.
Jennifer Skogerboe (Leesburg, Va.) nearly increased the Huskies’ in the 19th minute of play. The senior captain intercepted a Rutgers pass in their backfield, working her way past several defenders to find room inside the eighteen-yard box. Skogerboe unleashed a well-struck ball that just cleared the crossbar from close-range.
Liana Hinds (Hartford, Conn.) showed great defensive awareness to keep Rutgers off the board midway through the frame. Jonelle Filigno, the Scarlet Knights second leading scorer, chipped a ball over a charging Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) that threatened to continue over the goal line, but Hinds put herself in a position to pick the ball out of the air and clear it safely away from the UConn goal mouth.
Rutgers responded to UConn’s early goal with a late tally of their own, tying the game at one apiece in dramatic fashion with thirty seconds remaining before the halftime horn. The Scarlet Knights earned a corner kick at the one-minute warning. Freshman Tori Prager placed the corner to the middle of the box, where the loose ball bounced around before Brianne Reed was able to settle the ball and deposit it into the lower left corner of the net for her first goal of the season. Connecticut lead the Scarlet Knights in shots (9-7), but went into the locker room at halftime deadlocked on the scoreboard.
Rutgers carried the momentum generated by the late goal into the second half, with Filigno threatening on several quality attempts. The Huskies were able to regain possession of the game in the 80th minute. Hinds took a free kick from the right side of the field about eight yards outside of the Rutgers’ box, directing the ball to the back door for her waiting teammates. Skogerboe put a foot on the ball, sending a hard shot towards the upper part of the net that appeared to be labeled for a goal until defenseman Tricia DiPaolo earned a masterful defensive save with a header to deny the attempt. The rebound found its way to the waiting boot of Samantha McGuire (Fishkill, N.Y.), who slid a pass over to Gabrielle Charno (Seaford, N.Y.). Charno buried the game-winner into the back of the net to put the Huskies on top 2-1.
Armstrong stood tall in net for the Huskies, making one stop over 90 minutes of game time to earn her eleventh win of the season. Janosz turned aside five shots in net for Rutgers. UConn finished with a slight edge in shots with an 8-7. Rutgers went one-for-three on their corner attempts.
The Huskies wrap up their regular season on Sunday afternoon at 1pm in Memphis, taking on the Tigers in Tennessee.
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