PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Two second half goals from junior Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) pushed the UConn women’s soccer team past Notre Dame, 2-0, on Friday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The victory moves UConn to 19-3 overall while Notre Dame ends its season at 14-5-1. UConn will advance to the third round for the first time since 2007.
Notre Dame dominated the scoreless first half registering nine total shots in comparison to UConn’s two, both registered by Junior Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.). Five of Notre Dame’s shots were on goal but junior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) nabbed them all. UConn did not have one shot on goal in the first half.
The Irish opened with a close call when the ball kicked out behind Armstrong and trickled toward an empty net, but freshman Liane Keegans (Ridgefield, Conn.) was able to get back and clear it out.
The No. 3 seed, Notre Dame, had four corner kicks in the first half that resulted in solid scoring opportunities for the Irish, but Armstrong and the UConn defense denied every chance.
Ribeiro put up UConn’s first shot on goal three minutes into the second half. Hill took the ball into the box and passed it back out to Ribeiro at the top of the box who fired the ball right on net, but Notre Dame’s keeper Kaela Little made the save.
UConn scored the first goal of the game to take the lead in the 59th minute when Hill buried a loose rebound after Little saved a shot from senior Liana Hinds (Hartford, Conn.).
Hill capitalized again in the 82nd minute to extend UConn’s lead to 2-0. Senior Andrea Plucenik (Brooklyn, Conn.) passed the ball out to Hill who shot it from outside the box into the far left corner of the net.
Notre Dame outshot UConn 15-7 and 6-4 in shots on goal. Armstrong made five crucial saves for her eighth shutout of the season.
The Huskies advance to the third round on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. at Yurcak Field where they will play the winner of Rutgers vs. Hofstra.
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