STORRS, Conn. (November 15, 2007) - The University of Connecticut women's soccer team opens its 26th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament with a first round game against Boston College. The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Friday on Boston College's Newton Campus in Newton, Mass.
About Boston College
Boston College comes into this game with an 11-5-3 record. The Eagles tied for fifth with a 4-4-2 in the ACC, which featured six teams ranked in the top 25 at one point and had eight of its 11 schools make this year’s NCAA tournament. Freshman forward Brooke Knowlton leads the team with five goals, but the hallmark of Boston College this season has been their strong defensive play. The team has allowed only 10 goals in 21 games this season. The defense is led by goalkeeper Sarah Buonomo. She ranks fourth in the nation with a 0.409 goals against average and sixth in the nation with a 0.889 save percentage.
Series with Boston College
UConn has an extensive history with Boston College, which was formally in the BIG EAST Conference. The teams have played 33 times. UConn has played BC more than any other opponent except for Massachusetts, whom they have played 37 times. The Huskies have been very successful in the all-time series, leading 26-5-1. The Eagles, however, won the last time the two teams met with a 2-1 overtime victory on September 29, 2004. This is only the second time the teams have met in the NCAA tournament. UConn defeated BC 2-0 in an NCAA Quarterfinal game on November 12, 1983. Melissa Morrone, daughter of legendary Husky men’s soccer coach Joseph J. Morrone, scored both goals in that game.
2007 Season Review
The Huskies are 12-5-1 on the season. They finished second in the American Division of the BIG EAST Conference with an 8-2-1 record. The team faced five teams that were ranked at the time the Huskies played them. The season opened at the Terrier Invitational on the campus of Boston University. After defeating Princeton 1-0 in the first game, Connecticut dropped a 1-0 decision to ninth ranked Stanford. The Huskies faced off against Penn State on September 16, losing 1-0 in a game nationally televised by the Fox Soccer Channel.
UConn got back to its winning ways, winning its next six contests, including defeating Brown 5-1 and Fairfield 4-1 to win the UConn Soccer Classic. The team also opened BIG EAST play during that stretch, defeating Providence 6-0, South Florida 1-0 and stunning previously undefeated Marquette 5-0. Before that game, the Golden Eagles had given up only one goal in their first 10. A 0-0 tie with Rutgers, broke the Husky win streak, but Connecticut went on to win its next four games to extend the unbeaten streak to 11. That was the longest unbeaten streak for UConn since the 1999 season. During that streak, they came from behind to defeat Seton Hall in overtime 2-1, beat Pittsburgh 4-0 and beat eventual BIG EAST American Division and tournament champion West Virginia 2-0 on senior day. They finished the win streak with a 2-1 win over DePaul.
Facing perennial power Notre Dame in South Bend, the Huskies held a 1-0 lead late until a well placed corner kick in the 86th minute sent the game into overtime. The Fighting Irish won the game 2-1 in overtime, the only time all season UConn has given up more than one goal. The Huskies were upset by St. John’s 1-0 in overtime in their next game, before closing the regular season with a 2-0 win over Syracuse. They then dropped the 1-0 decision to Georgetown in the BIG EAST Quarterfinals.
UConn out scored opponents 37-11 on the year and received a very balanced effort as five different players led the team with five goals each. All-BIG EAST First Team selection, senior Meghan Schnur (Butler, Pa.) was the leader in total points with 17, having tallied five goals and seven assists on the year.
2007 Tournament Preview
64 teams were chosen for this year’s NCAA tournament. Thirty earned automatic bids for winning their conference, while 34 teams earned at-large bids. The teams were divided into four groups of 16 with the top four teams in each region receiving seeds, with the rest of the teams being paired geographically. In UConn’s region the seeds are: 1. Stanford, 2. Texas A&M, 3. Florida State and 4. Wake Forest. The first and second rounds will be played on November 16 and 18. The third round will be on either November 23, 24 or 25. The national quarterfinals will be held on either November 30 or December 1 or 2. The national semifinals and finals will be held on December 7 and 9 at the Aggie Soccer Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
26 Years and Counting
The Huskies have made the NCAA tournament for 26 consecutive seasons, every year it has been contested. The team has appeared in the NCAA Championship game four times, in 1984, 1990, 1997 and 2003. Each time, they dropped the championship game to North Carolina. UConn has a 13-5 record all-time in the first round, with the Huskies not participating in the round some years as they often had a bye before the tournament field was increased to 64 teams. Last season, Connecticut advanced to the second round. They defeated Columbia 2-1 in the first round, before tying top seeded Texas 1-1 in the second round. The Longhorns then advance in penalty kicks 3-1. It was the first time UConn had participated in a penalty kick shootout in the NCAA tournament.
Up Next for the Huskies
If the Huskies are victorious, they will face the winner of the Wake Forest versus Boston University first round match on Sunday, November 18 at 1:00 p.m. at Newton Field. The team has faced Boston University three times and holds a 2-1 record against them. However, the Terriers one win was a 1-0 double overtime win in the first round of the 2005 NCAA tournament. The one and only meeting between the Huskies and Wake Forest occurred in the season opening UConn Classic in 2003 and resulted in a 0-0 tie.
Directions to Newton Soccer Field on Boston College's Newton Campus
Take I-84 east to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90). Take exit 17. Take first right onto Centre Street. Follow Centre Street for approximately 3-5 minutes. Turn right into the Boston College Law School Campus. Follow the road as it winds to the right and down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, follow to the left and parking will be on the right next to the practice behind the Quonset hut.