Coming off a tough loss to Rutgers last week, the UConn women’s soccer team needed a quick start to get back on the right track. It didn’t take them very long to do so.
Stephanie Ribeiro put the Huskies on the board in just the second minute of the game off a cross from Tanya Altrui. The ball snuck through the arms of the Pacific keeper and Ribeiro was able to fend off the defender and poke the ball into the net.
The offensive attack continued for most of the half, but were never able to finish. Although they had eight shots on goal, the Pacific keeper only needed to make two saves. On defense, the Huskies struggled to clear the ball from the back third and allowed five corner kicks in the first as a result.
As the second half began, UConn cranked up the offensive pressure and peppered the Pacific keeper Lena Perry for most of the half. The Huskies had a number of chances in front of the net, but were either stifled by Perry or missed the goal altogether. The Huskies had 31 shots in the game, 17 on target, but only one goal to show for it.
Despite sitting back on defense most of the time, Pacific was able to rally for a few quick counter-attacks, a few of which nearly tied the game. Defensively, UConn goalie Emily Armstrong was the difference in the game. Pacific sent a pair of through-balls past the Huskies backline, but Armstrong made two huge saves to preserve the lead. However, Armstrong couldn’t do it all, needing the crossbar more than once to bail her out.
“She’s big, but in close games you need to have a big time keeper to save the day,” said head coach Len Tsantiris. “And the post.”
While UConn gets the bounce-back win, a one-goal victory over a team that was ranked 242nd in RPI last year hardly generates much buzz. They have another tune-up game against Central Connecticut on Sunday, but they will bring their A-game in order to compete against no. 1 overall Florida State, when they travel to Tallahassee next week.