PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The UConn women’s soccer is back in action at Yurcak Field on Sunday, Nov. 22 when it takes on Rutgers at 1 p.m. in the third round of the NCAA tournament. This is the first time the Huskies have made it to the Sweet Sixteen since 2007.
UConn made it there after defeating the No. 3 seed, Notre Dame, 2-0 on Friday. Junior Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) racked up both goals for the Huskies in the second half to lift them past the Fighting Irish.
Junior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) and the UConn backline gave a stellar performance, particularly in the first half to keep the score tied at 0-0. Hill capitalized in the 59th minute after she knocked in a rebound off a shot from senior Liana Hinds (Hartford, Conn.).
The Huskies’ leading scorer tallied her second of the game in the 82nd minute off a pass from senior Andrea Plucenik (Brooklyn, Conn.) to seal the deal 2-0 at the end.
Hill’s two goals brought her season total 16, the same number she finished with last season. Her 16 goals and four assists put her at the top of UConn’s leader board with 36 points, followed by junior Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.) with 22 points (7g, 8a) and senior Samantha McGuire (Fishkill, N.Y.) with 17 (7g, 3a).
Armstrong has earned 21 starts for the Huskies, recording 74 saves in over 1833 minutes in goal for a .822 save percentage and a 0.79 goals against average. Her five save performance against Notre Dame marked her eighth solo shutout of the season, and assisted in two others.
The No. 2 seed, Rutgers, joins UConn in the third round after blanking Hofstra with a 2-0 decision on Friday. Two first half goals, one of which was put in by Hoftra’s defense on a clearing attempt early in the game, swung the match in favor of the Scarlet Knights. Senior Brianne Reed was the only goal scorer for Rutgers, netting the second goal in the 20th minute with a header off a corner kick.
The win moved Rutgers to an 18-3-2 overall record. Sophomore Colby Ciarrocca currently leads the Knights with 19 points (8g, 3a) followed by graduate student Cassie Inacio and senior Samantha Valliant, who are both tied at 10 points.
Goalkeeper Casey Murphy has started in all 23 matches for Rutgers, recording 68 saves for a .895 save percentage and a 0.34 goals against average and an astounding 17 shutouts.
UConn leads the all-time series against Rutgers 16-3-4. UConn and Rutgers met earlier this season on September 13 at Yurcak Field. Both teams went into the match undefeated, 6-0, but Rutgers came out on top with a 2-0 victory.
The winner of Sunday’s match moves on to the Elite Eight which will take place on either Friday, Nov. 27 or Saturday, Nov. 28 where they will take on the winner of USC vs. Virginia, which will determine the location and time of the quarterfinal match-up.