STORRS, Conn – The No. 11 UConn women’s soccer team (14-2, 6-1) will host Houston (4-11, 0-7) on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the team’s second-to-last match of the 2015 regular season at Morrone Stadium.
The Huskies are coming off two wins on the road, including a 1-0 win at Memphis and a 2-1 victory against Tulsa in double overtime. Senior Samantha McGuire (Fishkill, N.Y.) recorded both game-winning goals, her first of the season against Memphis and the sudden-victory overtime goal against Tulsa in the 105th minute.
In the team’s last match against Tulsa, UConn trailed 1-0 at the end of the first half. Junior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) made a crucial save off a Tulsa Penalty kick just seconds before the first half expired, keeping the score at 1-0 going into the break.
Senior Andrea Plucenik (Brooklyn, Conn.) came out in the second half and knotted up the score 1-1, netting the equalizer in the 49th minute. Neither team could capitalize in the remaining 40 minutes, forcing the game into overtime, and eventually a second overtime period. This marked the first game all season that the Huskies had gone into extra minutes.
McGuire registered back-to-back shots right off the bat in the final overtime period, so close to a goal that one hit off the crossbar. Her goal finally came in the 105th minute, giving the Huskies the overtime win and a 14-2 overall record.
Junior Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) currently leads the team with 23 points (10g, 3a) followed by junior Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.) with 16 (5g, 6a) and McGuire with 13 (5g, 3a). Armstrong has played 1,437 minutes in net for UConn, recording 61 saves for a 0.75 goals against average and a .836 save percentage.
Houston is currently on a seven-game losing streak, going 0-7 since it opened conference play against East Carolina on Sept. 24. This past weekend, the Cougars went 0-2 against both Florida conference opponents with a 2-0 loss to USF on Thursday and a 3-2 loss to UCF on Sunday.
In Sunday’s match, Houston battled back in the first half from being down 2-0 to tying the score up at 2-2 going into the break. Senior Lexa Green closed the gap to 2-1 just three minutes after UCF scored its second goal. Freshman Desiree Bowen knocked in the equalizer for Houston in the 41st minute. UCF took the lead in the beginning of the second half, and held on to it to claim the 3-2 victory.
Green currently leads the team with 10 points (4g, 2a) followed by sophomore Selena Peters with nine points (4g, 1a) and Bowen with eight (4g).
UConn leads the all-time series against Houston 1-0-1. The two came together for the first time in 2013, where the Huskies defeated the Cougars 4-1 at Morrone Stadium. They met up again last season on Houston’s home turf, where they played to scoreless draw after 110 minutes.
The Huskies will host SMU in their last match of the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 12 p.m. for Senior Day at Morrone Stadium. UConn will recognize its nine seniors and its senior manager with a pre-game ceremony on Sunday.
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