The UConn women’s soccer team opened up American Athletic Conference play with a 4-2 hard-fought win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. The Huskies (9-2, 1-0 AAC) were led by their senior duo of Stephanie Ribeiro and Rachel Hill, who scored all four goals in the victory. Ribeiro totaled a career-high of six points, while Hill notched the game-winning goal.
UConn started the scoring in the 10th minute when Stephanie Ribeiro was fouled at the top of the box. While Tulsa was still getting up and arguing the call, Ribeiro put the ball down and sent it to a streaking Hill, who put it past the Tulsa keeper into the net.
However, before the post-goal music finished reverberating around the stadium, Tulsa answered back with a goal of their own. UConn keeper Emily Armstrong made a diving save on the initial shot, but Tulsa’s Anna Williams buried the rebound to even the score at 1-1.
The Huskies continued to press, and in the 21st minute, Maddie Damm found Ribeiro in the top left corner of the box. Ribeiro “bent it like Beckham” around the keeper with the shot deflecting off the far post and into the goal to give UConn the lead.
The second half was mostly quiet, up until the 71st minute when both offenses seemed to finally wake up. The Huskies had a number of chances before Rachel Hill finished a chance on a 2-on-1 breakaway off a through-ball from Stephanie Ribeiro.
But just like the earlier in the game, Tulsa came right back and scored to bring the the Huskies lead down to just one. The Golden Hurricane almost tied it a minute later when Tana Dake was able to beat Emily Armstrong, but Dake’s own teammate got in the way of the shot and knocked away from net, preserving the Huskies’ lead.
The final goal of the game came from none other than Stephanie Ribeiro. The senior broke away from back line of the Tulsa defense and calmly finished to push the game to 4-2, which would be the final.
After just three games in 14 days, UConn returns to action on Sunday afternoon against the Memphis Tigers at Morrone Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 pm.