History and playoffs on the line for UConn women's soccer team
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 22:10
The UConn women’s soccer team will have a chance to cement their legendary coach’s place in the record books while also improving their Big East ranking this weekend when they host a pair of conference foes, USF and No. 20 Marquette.
Len Tsantiris, who is in his 32nd year as the head coach for the women’s soccer team, enters the weekend with a career record of 498-178-52. If the Huskies can win in both of their games, Tsantiris will join North Carolina Coach Anson Dorrance as only the second coach to ever join the elusive 500 wins club.
However, Tsantiris will be far more focused on moving up the Big East standings than dealing with the historic milestone. The Huskies are currently fifth in the American division of the Big East, with an in-conference record of 3-3-0 (7-5-1) overall. USF sits at third (6-4-2, 2-1-2 Big East) while Marquette enters the weekend atop the American division with a perfect conference mark of 5-0-0 and an overall record of 9-2-1.
USF has played competitive soccer all year long, with their four losses coming by a combined five goals. They have a particularly stingy defense; over their last six games, they have only allowed four goals.
UConn will attempt to counter the Bull’s rock-solid defense with an offense that has been led all season by one of the conference’s most prolific scorers, Danielle Schulmann. The forward has been brilliant in her senior campaign. She is currently tied for second in the Big East in points (25) and goals (9), and is tied for the conference lead in assists with (7).
Marquette has been the dominant team in the American division thus far and enters the weekend on an absolute tear. Since losing their only two games of the season to North Carolina and Duke at the Duke/Nike Classic on Sept. 7th and 9th, respectively, the Eagles have humiliated opponents, winning their next six games by a margin of 23-1. They feature a balanced offensive attack led by Maegan Kelly (5 goals, 6 assists) and Kate Reigel (5 goals, 5 assists).
UConn is hoping to bounce back from a frustrating performance last Sunday against Notre Dame. Len Tsantiris said that “we’ve never had that dominance against Notre Dame in all the years I’ve been here.” Despite outplaying the Fighting Irish, the Huskies squandered several golden opportunities and ultimately let the game get away, falling by a score of 4-0.
UConn will face USF at 7 p.m. on Friday and Marquette at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with both games being played at Joseph Morrone Stadium.