The UConn women’s soccer team earned their first conference win of a season as they took down the East Carolina Pirates, 2-1.
The Huskies were able to strike early, something they’ve struggled with for much of the season.
In the 10th minute, Danielle Gottwik sent a corner kick to the six-yard box. The East Carolina keeper failed to come off the line, which allowed Erin Spillane to come to the front post and volley the ball into the wide-open net to put the Huskies up 1-0.
The lead wouldn’t hold for long, though. While UConn controlled much of the game, they struggled with defensive breakdowns, especially on counter-attacks.
In the 27th minute, Jenna Geist received the ball at the top of the box, faked a shot and took a touch to the middle of the field before ripping the ball on the ground past Courtney Hofer to tie the game at 1-1.
“There’s only one breakdown and the other team scores,” Tsantiris said. “That’s happened every game.”
Tsantiris went to his bench frequently, using nine subs off the bench. One such player was Elena Santos, who injected instant energy up top for the Huskies.
In the 34th minute, Santos received the ball and took it to the end line. She slotted sent a pass to the foot of Sabrina Toole, another reserve, who calmly tapped it into the net to give UConn the 2-1 lead.
“Zoe [Steck] took out the defender by running over the ball and left me completely wide open,” Toole said. “Made my job easy. All I had to do was place it in.”
In the second half, the Huskies picked up the pressure offensively, firing 10 shots as compared to just four in the first half. However, they were unable to put anything away to extend their lead. Luckily, the defense held strong and they came away with the 2-1 victory.
Next, UConn hits the road to face Tulsa on Thursday at 8 p.m.