STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s soccer team heads to Piscataway, N.J. for the second round of the NCAA tournament where they will take on the No. 3 seed, Notre Dame on Friday, Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. at Yurcak Field.
The Huskies moved to 18-3 overall after defeating Siena 5-0 in the first round of NCAA play. Junior Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.) recorded two goals for the Huskies, bringing her season total to seven, which is tied for second on the team with senior Samantha McGuire (Fishkill, N.Y.).
Ribeiro gave UConn the 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the match. First half goals from junior Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) and freshman Kim Urbanek (Lonnerstadt, Germany) left the Huskies with a solid 3-0 lead going into halftime.
Senior defenseman Annie Wickett (Frederick, Md.) notched her first career goal ten minutes into second half to extend the lead to 4-0. Ribeiro went ahead and made it 5-0, the most goals the Huskies have scored in a single game all season, with 20 minutes remaining on the clock.
Hill currently leads the team with 32 points (14g, 4a) followed by Ribeiro with 22 points (7g, 8a) and McGuire with 17 (7g, 3a). Junior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) has seen 1743 minutes with 20 starts in net and has recorded 69 saves for a .813 save percentage and a 0.83 goals against average.
The last time the Huskies advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament was last season where they were knocked out, 1-0, at Penn State. UConn has not advanced past the second round since 2007 when the Huskies defeated Wake Forest 1-0 but eventually lost to Florida State in the quarterfinals.
The No. 3 seeded Notre Dame, who is in its 23rd straight NCAA Championship appearance, also breezed through round one with a 5-0 victory over Oakland on Friday, bringing them to a 14-4-1 overall record.
Notre Dame scored four goals in the first half and one eight minutes into the second. Senior Anna Gilbertson tallied two unassisted goals and an assist for the Fighting Irish while junior Kaleigh Olmstead, senior Katie Naughton and sophomore Sabrina Flores took credit for the other three.
Gilbertson currently leads the team with 29 points (13g, 3a) followed by freshman Natalie Jacobs with 13 points (4g, 5a) and Flores with 12 (3g, 6a). Junior goalkeeper Kaela Little has played the majority of minutes for the Irish recording 30 saves this season for a .833 save percentage and a 0.44 goals against average.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series 22-5-4 against UConn. The Huskies last saw the Irish in the 2012 regular season when both teams were still members of the Big East. Notre Dame shutout UConn 4-0 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on September 30, 2012.
The winner of Friday’s match will advance to the third round where they will take on the winner of Hofstra vs. the No. 2 seeded Rutgers on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J.