Junior Stephanie Ribeiro
June 11, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – UConn women’s soccer head coach Len Tsantiris announced the 2014 season schedule on Wednesday afternoon as he embarks on his 34th season at the helm for Connecticut. The Huskies will face nine American Athletic Conference opponents including new league members University of Tulsa and East Carolina.
A challenging non-conference slate includes formidable opponents who earned rankings in the 2013 season, including Florida State, which finished at No. 2, and Penn State (tabbed No. 24 in penultimate NSCAA Coaches Poll).
“We are again proud to play the most competitive out-of-conference schedule that we can,” head coach Len Tsantiris commented. “We are excited to test ourselves against so many top teams including 2013 National Finalist Florida State.”
The Huskies finished their 2013 campaign at 11-9 overall and 5-4 in The American’s inaugural season. UConn claimed the fourth seed in The American Championship, hosting South Florida in a quarterfinal match on Nov. 3. The Bulls overpowered the Huskies to halt Connecticut’s season by a final score of 4-1. “We hope to continue to build on last year’s successes and compete to win The American,” Coach Tsantiris continued. “We feel we have a schedule that will make us well prepared for the quality and depth of our league.
UConn graduated a pair of seniors and are expected to return nine of eleven starters from last season along with a nine-member freshman class and the additional help of two transfers.
The squad begins preparation by hosting an exhibition match against Northeastern at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on Aug. 16 at 7:00 p.m. The battle of the Huskies will pit the programs against one another for just the second time in history after Connecticut fell to Northeastern, 2-1, in 2011.
UConn officially embarks on the 2014 campaign with the first of eleven home games when Hofstra University visits for the season-opener on Friday, Aug. 22 at 7:00 p.m. UConn holds the edge against the Pride with a 3-1-1 record in the all-time series, though the Colonial Athletic Association contenders took the last meeting against the Huskies with a 1-0 decision in 2010.
The weekend home stand continues for Connecticut when Navy visits on Sunday, Aug. 24 for a 1:00 p.m. contest. Navy reached the Patriot League Championship match last season, falling to Boston University to conclude a 16-5 season. The occasion will mark Navy’s second visit to Storrs after the Huskies defeated the Midshipmen in the 2004 home opener.
Following the game against Navy, the Huskies will regroup and head out for a three-game away set beginning at Penn State on Friday, Aug. 29. The squads will take the pitch for a 7:00 p.m. start. The Huskies will look to improve upon a 4-8-1 all-time showing against the Nittany Lions, who reached the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament and finished at 15-7-1 overall.
The road trip continues at former Big East rival Syracuse, where the teams will face off in a Monday afternoon contest on Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m. UConn defeated Syracuse, 1-0, in 2013 after suffering the only loss in program history at the hands of the Orange in 2012. The Huskies return to Connecticut for an in-state matchup against Central Connecticut on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:00 p.m. in New Britain. UConn posted a shutout against the Blue Devils last season for a 3-0 victory in Storrs.
UConn returns to the friendly confines of Morrone Stadium for its longest hosting stretch of the season with five home matchups. Sunday, Sept. 6 will witness the first-ever showdown with Stony Brook at 3:00 p.m. From there, the Huskies welcome St. John’s on Friday, Sept. 12 for a 7:00 p.m. contest.
A meeting with UMass on Sunday, Sept. 14 will be the final bit of preparation before facing powerhouse Florida State, who was one of the last two teams standing in 2013 NCAA Tournament before bowing out to UCLA in the National Finals. The heavyweight contest will take place on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Connecticut concludes its non-conference slate with a matinee against Brown University on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 1:00 p.m. The Huskies have not met the Ivy League member since 2007, where Connecticut posted a resounding 5-0 win. UConn owns a 19-5-1 all-time result against Brown.
The Huskies dive into their second season in The American with an unfamiliar foe in East Carolina. The Pirates join The American from Conference USA, finishing 9-9-3 overall in their final year as a member. The first-ever meeting between the teams will take place in Greenville, N.C. on Sept. 25 at 7:00 p.m. From there, the Huskies travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for a showdown with the Bearcats on Sunday, Sept. 28 at noon. Junior Stephanie Ribeiro supplied the heroics in a 1-0 overtime win against Cincinnati in Storrs last season.
Following the road set, the Huskies return to Connecticut for a pair of conference home games against Memphis and Tulsa. UConn will seek revenge against Memphis in a mid-week game on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 7:00 p.m. The Tigers bested the Huskies in Tennessee, 5-1, in the 2013 regular season finale to claim the first program meeting. Connecticut will look to turn the tables on the Tigers before refocusing for a Sunday matchup against another conference newcomer in the University of Tulsa. Another former Conference USA member, Tulsa will make its way to UConn for the first time on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 1:00 p.m. The Golden Hurricane recorded an 11-6-4 showing in its final season in Conference USA.
A trip to Texas will mark the penultimate regular season road trip for the Huskies, with a showdown at Houston scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m. and a matchup with Southern Methodist University on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 12:00 p.m. The Huskies won both games against the Texas schools last season, which saw Rachel Hill notch her first career hat trick in the victory over Houston.
The final two home games of the regular season will pit the Huskies against South Florida and Central Florida for the fifth and final Thursday/Sunday combination of the year. A rematch of the 2013 American Quarterfinal contest will take place with the Bulls on Oct. 16 at 7:00 p.m. before the Huskies take on defending conference champion UCF in noon-time action on Oct. 19. The matchup with UCF marks UConn’s final regular season home game of the year which, accordingly, will serve as Senior Day.
UConn will close out the 2014 regular season with a trip to Pennsylvania, where the squad will face Temple in Philadelphia at 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 26. UConn defeated the Owls 3-1 in 2013.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the Huskies will await seeding for The American Championship and hope to advance to the semifinal round, which will be held in Tampa, Florida from Nov. 7-9. Connecticut is in search of its first American Athletic Conference Championship.