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SCHEDULE NOTE: This match, originally scheduled for Thursday night, has been moved to Friday at 12 p.m. due to inclement weather causing unplayable field conditions in Storrs.
STORRS, Conn. -- After a 1-0-1 trip to Texas, the UConn women's soccer team (9-3-4, 2-1-3 American) returns home for its final two contests this season at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. With crucial league points on the line, UConn takes on USF (7-6-1, 2-3-0 American) on Fridat at 12 p.m. UConn is currently fourth in the league table with nine points, trailing second-place Memphis by a mere two points.
Last season marked the ninth and 10th all-time meetings between the Huskies and Bulls, with USF most recently coming away with 4-1 victory in The American Quarterfinals in Storrs on Nov. 3. Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) scored the lone marker for the Huskies in the setback. The two sides also met on Oct. 6 in Tampa, a 3-2 double overtime victory for USF. Julie Hubbard (Waverly, Pa.) and Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.) recorded the UConn goals in that contest. Connecticut's last victory over USF came on Oct. 7, 2011, a 1-0 win in Tampa.
Freshman Danielle Gottwik (New Port Richey, Fla.) was named American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week on Monday for the second straight week after scoring a game-winning goal and adding an assist in a 3-1 win at SMU on Oct. 12. It was the third weekly laurel for the freshman midfielder, who is currently second on the Huskies with a 5-4-14 scoring line. Gottwik, tied for ninth in The American in scoring, is the only rookie to place among the league top-10 in points.
Hill leads UConn offensively with 13 goals and two assists for a team-high 28 points, tops in The American. The sophomore All-America candidate has made five weekly conference honor rolls and is fifth nationally in goal-scoring. With her 13 goals she has matched her 2013 output, doing so in five less matches. Hill has 26 career goals in 35 career appearances.
Behind Hill and Gottwik, Riley Houle (Columbia, Conn.) and Samantha McGuire (Fishkill, N.Y.) have each provided a 5-3-13 scoring ledger to add to UConn's offensive punch. The Huskies are second in The American and top-50 nationally with 34 goals this season.
LAST TIME OUT
UConn earned a victory in its most recent contest, topping SMU in Dallas by a score of 3-1. The win snapped a steak of three consecutive ties for the Huskies, the first time that has occured in program history. The Mustangs actually led the contest early thanks to an 11th minute goal, but the Huskies responded with a three-goal barrage over an 18-minute stretch midway through the second half. Hubbard got the scoring started with a 24th minute goal, before Gottwik struck with the eventual game-winner in the 34th minute. UConn capped the scoring in the 41st minute, when Gottwik fired in a free kick that was saved before Hill pounced on the rebound for a third goal. Following the win, Gottwik was named Rookie of the Week while Gabrielle Charno (Seaford, N.Y.) picked up a Defensive Player of the Week nod and Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) earned a spot on the weekly conference honor roll.
BULLS ON PARADE
USF visits Morrone Stadium with a 7-6-1 record this season, presently sitting in a four-way tie for sixth in the conference standings with a 2-3-0 record and six league points. Olivia Chance leads the Bulls offense with six goals and 14 points, including a pair of game-winning goals and a team-high 48 shots. Leticia Skeete has chipped in four goals, including three game-winners, and is second on the team with nine points. Kate Loye and Demi Stokes have added eight and seven points, respectively. In goal, Katarina Elliott and Thordis Aikman have split time, combining to recored a 1.24 GAA, a .667 save percentage and four shutouts. The Bulls are coming off a three-game homestand, during which they lost to No. 18 UCF after sweeping Houston and SMU the week prior. USF holds opponents to 8.9 shots a contest but lead the conference with 14 yellow cards.
A LOOK AHEAD
UConn concludes its home schedule on Oct. 19 when it hosts the league leaders, No. 18 UCF. Prior to the contest seniors Gabrielle Charno, Riley Houle, Julie Hubbard, Gianna Roma and Lindsey Watkins will be honored for Senior Day before their final game in Storrs.