UConn wrapped up their non-conference schedule with a resounding 4-1 win over the Fordham Bulls. Standout performer Stephanie Ribeiro had a hand in all four goals, scoring one and adding three assists. She scored the game-winning goal, her sixth of the season, which leads the country.
The Huskies came out rusty after not playing since last Thursday but still were able to control the game. UConn got on the board when Rachel Hill crossed it to Ribeiro, who threw off the defense with a back-heel to Kriste Vinciguerra, who sent it into the net.
The rest of the first half lacked punch, with the Huskies only getting four shots on goal. The Rams were held to just a single shot in the opening 45 minutes.
UConn was able to neutralize most of Fordham’s through-balls by sending the ball back to goalkeeper Emily Armstrong and allowing her to clear the ball past midfield. Husky defender Liane Keegans also had a strong sequence inside the penalty box where she blocked three consecutive shots from the Rams.
It didn’t take long for the Huskies to get going in the second half. Just three minutes in, Tanya Altrui delivered a perfect ball to a wide-open Ribeiro on the back post. Ribeiro headed the ball in to give UConn a 2-0 advantage.
In the 67th minute, UConn head coach Len Tsantiris subbed Ribeiro, Rachel Hill, and Kim Urbanek out to give the bench players some run.
After the second goal, Fordham to started pressing and the Huskies found themselves having to defend more. The pressure paid off for the Rams, as Keri Villano was able to find Nicol Natale on a ball over the top. Natale beat Armstrong on the breakaway to cut the UConn lead to 2-1.
Ribeiro, Hill, and Urbanek subbed back in just 13 minutes later after the Huskies conceded a goal, and wasted no time taking back the lead. Ribeiro found Alexa Casimiro, who put it past the Fordham keeper to net her first career goal.
With just over two minutes left, Hill added another goal off a free kick from Ribeiro to push the lead to 4-1, which is how the game would end.
UConn finishes up non-conference play 8-2-0 and takes a three-game winning streak going into conference play. The Huskies’ next game is Thursday, when Tulsa travels to Morrone Stadium for the conference opener.