Nov. 3, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut women’s soccer team fell in American quarterfinal action to the University of South Florida by a score of 4-1 on Sunday afternoon at Morrone Stadium. The Bulls improve to 10-4-5 overall and advance to face top seeded UCF next week in the conference semifinals hosted by the Golden Knights. UConn falls to 11-9 on the season and will await the NCAA selection show scheduled for Nov. 11 at 4:30 pm.
Jackie Simpson broke through for USF at the 10:39 minute mark to give the Bulls an early 1-0 lead. Marsha Harper took control of a loose ball and slid a pass over to Simpson slide into an open net, as UConn netminder Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) found herself tied up on the ground with a USF forward. UConn nearly found the equalizer in the 20th minute of play on a free kick opportunity. Senior Devin Prendergast (Babylon, N.Y.) played the free chance into the box, where the ball was headed to the right side of the goal by Gabrielle Charno (Seaford, N.Y.). A charging Julie Hubbard (Waverly, Pa.) put a foot on the ball in mid-air, but her one touch dinged off the left post and rolled away from net.
About five minutes before the end of the half, Sharla Passariello began her five point afternoon with an assist on an Olivia Chance goal. Chance ran a wide route behind the UConn defense and accepted a Passariello through ball, playing a low shot to the right side of the goal that gave the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The Huskies appeared to come alive at the beginning of the second half, as Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) capitalized for UConn to cut the deficit down to 2-1. Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.) flicked a ball over the USF defense to Hill, who easily won the footrace and placed a shot around a charging Endler into the lower right hand portion of the goal at 56:40.
In the midst of the comeback attempt, a Brianna Butler (Rock Tavern, N.Y.) yellow card foul in the defensive box on USF’s Olivia Chance gave the Bulls a penalty kick. Passariello took the shot, delivering a perfectly placed ball at mid-height to the inside of the right goalpost. Armstrong read the shot perfectly, making a spectacular diving save to keep the game within reach. UConn was unable to even the score, as Passariello weaved through defenders and buried a low ball at 62:08 to restore the two goal lead. The Huskies made a late push to narrow the scoring gap, but USF caught Connecticut in their offensive pressure and played a long ball up-field to Passariello, who tallied her second goal of the day on the breakaway in the 80th minute.
Endler finished with eight stops in the contest for USF to earn her ninth win in net for the Bulls this season. Including the penalty kick save, Armstrong turned aside five shots for UConn. The Huskies outshot the Bulls 21-13 in the contest.