ONE MORE FOR LEN
Women's Soccer battles Rutgers in Big East first round
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 23:10
One more win. That’s all UConn women’s soccer Head Coach Len Tsantiris needs for career win No. 500. In order to reach the milestone, however, his team will have to upend the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at home at Morrone Stadium in the first round of the Big East Championships on Thursday night.
If Tsantiris and the Huskies beat Rutgers, Tsantiris would become only the second coach in NCAA Division I women’s soccer history to reach 500 wins. North Carolina head coach Anson Dorrance, who has over 700 wins over the span of 30 seasons with the Tar Heels, reached the career mark in 1997.
UConn qualified for postseason play last weekend against Providence when midfielder Linda Ruutu launched a buzzer-beater in the second period of extra time, giving the Huskies a 2-1 victory. UConn went 4-5-1 in Big East play, which netted them 13 points and fourth place in the American Division.
Rutgers (5-5-1 in the Big East) was able to reach the Big East Championships by amassing 16 points in Big East play, which was good enough for fifth in the National Division. The Scarlet Knights weren’t guaranteed a playoff spot because only the top four teams in each division receive an automatic bid to the 10-team tournament. Although they had more points in the conference than the Huskies, the Scarlet Knights have to play the game on the road because they’re considered one of the two “at-large” teams that made the postseason.
UConn stumbled to the finish line this season, going 1-3-1 in their final five games. The game they tied, however, was against the No. 18 Marquette Golden Eagles, who will host the winner of this game in Wisconsin on Sunday. On the other hand, Rutgers finished the season 4-0-1 and hasn’t lost a game since Sept. 30, when they lost in overtime to Syracuse.
UConn did not face Rutgers in the 2012 regular season. The last time the two teams met was in 2010, with Rutgers shutting out UConn, 2-0. The Huskies hold a dominating 14-2-4 record against the Scarlet Knights all-time.
UConn has an incentive to get by Rutgers and Marquette, since the Big East semifinals and finals will be held next weekend at Morrone Stadium.
The Huskies’ match against the Scarlet Knights begins at 7 p.m. and can be heard on 91.7 WHUS FM or online at whus.org.