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STORRS, Conn. -- After splitting its first two American Athletic Conferences on the road last week, the UConn women's soccer team (8-3-1, 1-1 American) returns home this week for contests against Memphis (4-5-2, 1-1 American) on Thursday night and Tulsa (7-4-1, 1-1 American) on Sunday afternoon. Last season marked the first meeting between UConn and Memphis, while 2014 will be the debut of the UConn-Tulsa series. The Huskies are looking to improve on their 6-1-0 mark at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium this year.
The Huskies and Tigers met for the first time as conference-mates last season, with UM taking home a 5-1 victory in Tennessee. The American Athletic Conference newcomer Golden Hurricane mark the third first-time oppoennt for Connecticut this season, with the Huskies previously defeating East Carolina and Stony Brook. In seven games this year at Morrone Stadium, UConn is 6-1-0 and has out-scored its opponents by a margin of 20-5.
Samantha McGuire (Fishkill, N.Y.) was named to The American weekly honor roll this week, giving UConn a spot on the list for the sixth straight week after Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) made the first five. McGuire scored the game-winning goal with a minute remaining in overtime at East Carolina on Sept. 25. On the year, the junior is tied with Riley Houle (Columbia, Conn.) for second on the Huskies with four goals and 10 points.
Hill leads UConn offensively with 11 goals and two assists for a team-high 24 points, tops in The American. The sophomore All-America candidate has made five weekly conference honor rolls and is fifth nationally in goal-scoring.
LAST TIME OUT
UConn dropped its first conference game of the season on Sunday, falling by a score of 3-0 at Cincinnati. The shutout was the first time the Huskies have been blanked this season and first overall since Sept. 13, 2013. Saucier made four saves in the first half while McGuire and Hubbard each fired a team-high three shots.
TRACKING THE TIGERS
Memphis visits UConn with a 4-5-2 record on the season, including a 1-1-0 mark in conference play to currently fit in a six-way tie with UConn and four others for third place in the league. After dropping their conference opener to No. 23 UCF on Sept. 25, the Tigers got their first league win on Sept. 28 with a 1-0 victory over USF. Valeria Sanderson leads the swuad with six goals and 13 points, including a pair of game-winners. Kaitlyn Atkins, who scored the lone goal to top USF, is second on the squad with a 3-3-9 scoring line while Nugene Nugent leads the team with four assists. Mary Bard-Martel has played every minute in goal for the Tigers and holds a 1.05 GAA and a .760 save percentage.
HERE COMES THE STORY OF THE HURRICANE
Tulsa travels to Storrs with 7-4-1 start to the season and a 1-1-0 mark in conference action. Like Memphis, the Golden Hurricane defeated USF and lost to No. 23 UCF in their first two conference matches. Rachel Thun is Tulsa’s leader in goals (6), assists (5) and points (17), slotting in behind UConn’s Hill for third in The American in goals and points. Lauren King has potted four goals for the Golden Hurricane, while Christina Holmes has recorded three tallies. Roman Edwards is the second leading distributor with three assists. Three goalies have made a start for Tulsa this year, but Courtney McKeon has gotten the nod nine times and holds a 1.49 GAA with a .659 save percentage and three shutotus.
A LOOK AHEAD
After the two home contests, UConn is back on the road in league play for a Texas two-step with matches at Houston on Oct. 9 and at SMU on Oct. 12. The Huskies swept the Lone Star State duo in Storrs last season.