Oct. 25, 2012
STORRS, Conn. (October 25, 2012) – The University of Connecticut Huskies defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 3-1, in the first round of the BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Tournament Thursday night at Morrone Stadium. The Huskies are now 9-7-2 on the season and will head to the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship on Sunday.
The win is UConn head coach Len Tsantris‘ 500th career victory at UConn. Tsantiris has compiled a 500-170-50 overall record as a head coach during his 32 years at the helm of the Huskies. He becomes only the second coach in NCAA women’s soccer history to reach the illustrious milestone and joins North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance in the 500 Club.
The Huskies scored again in the 32nd minute as Plucenik took a corner kick and Gabrielle Charno finished the header for her first goal of her career. The goal would put the Huskies ahead for good, and was also Charno’s first career game-winning goal.
Rutgers (12-7-1) scored in the 62nd minute to cut the deficit in half as April Price and Jonelle Filgno combined to find Maura McLaughlin who scored her second goal of the season.
Sophomore midfielder Riley Houle scored the game’s final goal for the Huskies from 30 yards out in the 81st minute to make the score 3-1. Houle grabbed the ball out of the air after keeper Emmy Simpkins made a diving save punching the ball out of the box.
Despite the milestone victory, Tsantris is only looking toward the future. “I’m thinking about Marquette. That’s going to be a big game. We want to bring this group here to play on our home field for the tournament.”
Plucenik, on the other hand, recognized what the team had accomplished. “We did want to get coach his 500 wins. He says it doesn’t matter but it matters to us.”
“When you’re in this business, it’s a passion,” said Tsantris. “It’s my life.”
UConn outshot Rutgers 22-8, including 13-3 in the second half. Rutgers goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins recorded 12 saves in the loss, while UConn goalkeeper Jessica Montrose needed only one save in the win. Montrose improved to 2-2-1 on the season.
The Huskies move on to play in the quarters of the BIG EAST Championships at first seeded Marquette on Sunday at 2 p.m.