On the schedule, it was just another win. For head coach Len Tsantiris, it was the 550th win of his career and for the women’s soccer program. Despite the milestone, Tsantiris is only focused on what’s next.
“I don’t look at that,” said the coach. “We need to win the next game, we have to be ready to win.”
UConn came out firing early, as Stephanie Ribeiro nearly got the Huskies on the board with a shot 26 seconds in but it glanced off the post and the Huskies missed on the rebound as well.
But the post giveth and the post taketh away. In the 6th minute, Stony Brook had a chance inside the six with an open net but pounded the shot off the post to keep the game tied.
For much of the first half, the Huskies pressed but struggled to finish. But that changed in the 31st minute when Faith McCarthy found Rachel Hill at the penalty mark. Hill turned and ripped a shot into the top shelf to give UConn a 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Stephanie Ribeiro collected a pass at the top of the box and sent it past the Stony Brook defense and into the back of the net.
Ribeiro netted another with 16 minutes left in the half, heading the ball past a defender, flicking it over another and volleying it in to give UConn a 3-0 lead going into the half.
In the second half, with most of the starters out, the Huskies picked up where they left off. In the 51st minute, Kim Urbanek lofted a cross right to the head of redshirt freshman Annika Schmidt, who finished it to notch her first career goal. It was also the first goal of the season not scored by the senior trio of Rachel Hill, Stephanie Ribeiro, or Maddie Damm.
Despite the large deficit, Stony Brook refused to quit. In the 60th minute, Lindsay Hutchinson hit a shot from deep outside the box that somehow snuck over the outstretched arm of UConn keeper Emily Armstrong for the only Seawolves goal.
For the Huskies, it was a good bounce-back win after a tough 3-0 loss to No. 1 Florida State on Thursday. It was also the first game that UConn truly dominated, controlling the game from start to finish.
“It was a good effort from everybody bouncing back from Florida State, who is a very good team,” said Tsantiris on the win.
Facing a weaker opponent, he was able to utilize his bench, substituting 11 players throughout the course of the game.
“We used a lot of players,” he said. “We rested a lot of our kids that we use too much.”
With the win, UConn improves to 5-2-0 on the season. The Huskies travel to upstate New York on Thursday to face Colgate before wrapping up their non-conference schedule a week later at home against Fordham.