The UConn women’s soccer team defeated the SMU Mustangs 1-0 to win the American Conference Tournament, its third in four years. Rachel Hill gave UConn the edge with the game’s lone goal in the 40th minute.
Early on, UConn controlled possession but that success did not translate into shots for much of the half.
The goal came when Kim Urbanek intercepted a pass at the midfield and sent the ball across the field to a wide open Hill, who took the ball untouched down the field and slipped it past the charging keeper to take the lead.
SMU nearly answered back just a minute later. The Mustangs came down the sideline and crossed the ball into the box. The pass went over the outstretched arm of Emily Armstrong and gave SMU a chance on the back post. But the Husky defense blocked the shot and managed to clear the ball out.
UConn turned to a defensive style of play to start the second half, which allowed the Mustangs to put more pressure on the Husky net.
SMU’s best chance came off a corner kick in the 70th minute, when Claire Oates had the ball right in front of the UConn net. She put a hard shot on target but Emily Armstrong made an incredible diving kick-save to deflect the ball out of the box.
Despite the increased pressure, the Huskies defense held strong to the final whistle and kept SMU scoreless.
In the postgame awards ceremony, Stephanie Ribeiro, Rachel Hill, Toriana Patterson, Tanya Altrui and Emily Armstrong were named to the All-Tournament Team. Patterson earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award after UConn’s defense pitched a shutout in both tournament games. Rachel Hill was awarded the Most Outstanding Offensive Player with her two-goal tournament performance.
It is the Huskies’ 12th conference championship and their second as a member of the American Athletic Conference. UConn will now wait for the Selection Show on Monday at 4:30pm to see who they will play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.