CINCINNATI, Ohio –The No. 19 UConn women’s soccer team topped Cincinnati 2-0 Thursday at Gettler Stadium with another game-winning goal from senior Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.). The Huskies are now just one win away from the 2016 American Athletic Conference Regular Season title.
Thursday’s win over the Bearcats puts the Huskies at 7-0-1 in conference play with a 15-2-1 overall record. Cincinnati drops to 3-3-2 in AAC play and 10-5-3 overall after suffering its first loss at home all season to the Huskies.
- Ribeiro has scored a goal in the last four consecutive games and has scored the game-winner in the last three consecutive games.
- Ribeiro’s goal in the fifth minute was her 17th of the season and 10th game-winner of the year. She currently leads the nation in total goals (17), total points (45) and game-winning goals (10).
- Senior Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) moves solely into second place in the program record book after scoring her 58th career goal in the second half against the Bearcats.
- The UConn defense, anchored by senior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.), recorded its ninth shutout of the season, facing 26 Cincinnati shots. Armstrong tied a season-high 10 saves, which she previously recorded on the road at Colgate back in mid-September.
- Armstrong is now second in the UConn record book for career shutouts with over 25.3 career shutouts earned.
- The Huskies extend their unbeaten streak to 11 games and their win streak to five matches after dishing out Cincinnati’s first loss at home this season.
- Ribeiro had totaled 47 points in her previous three seasons combined. She is just two points away from tying that total in a single season.
Ribeiro gave the Huskies an early 1-0 lead in the fifth minute after she scored on UConn’s first shot of the match. Sophomore Heidi Druehl (Stamford, Conn.) earned her third assist of the year after she chipped the ball up from outside the box right to Ribeiro, who headed it home off the cross.
Neither the Huskies nor the Bearcats produced any promising scoring opportunities for the remainder of the first half.
Despite UConn taking a 1-0 lead into the break, Cincinnati outshot UConn 8-5 in the first frame and 3-2 in shots on target. Armstrong shutout the Bearcats in the first half, making all three stops.
Cincinnati dominated the offense coming out of halftime, outshooting UConn 7-1 in the first 11 minutes of the second half. The Bearcats actually found the back of the net in the 51st minute, but their goal was waved off by the referee, saying there was goalkeeper interference.
Hill added an insurance goal for the Huskies in the 70th minute. In a typical fashion, Hill beat the Cincinnati defense got a shot off on the ground which hit off the post and deflected into the goal. She is now second in the program record book for all-time career goals with 58.
UConn had another good chance in the 77th minute when Hill and Ribeiro tore down the field on a 2-on-1 but Ribeiro’s shot was saved by Cincinnati goalkeeper, Natalie Smith.
Cincinnati fought until the very end and produced several chances in the last five minutes of the game. Armstrong made two crucial saves in last five minutes, including one off a free kick for the Bearcats with 50 seconds up on the clock.
The Bearcats outshot the Huskies 18-5 in the second half and 26-10 overall. Armstrong finished with 10 saves on the evening, tying her previous season-best.
The Huskies will play their last regular season match Sunday, Oct. 30 at East Carolina. If the Huskies defeat the Pirates Sunday, then they will clinch the No. 1 seed in the conference and receive the hosting rights for the 2016 American Athletic Conference Tournament.