Ribeiro’s 2OT goal lifts Huskies to win
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 01:09
Through 108 minutes, the UConn women’s soccer team looked destined to stay deadlocked with visiting La Salle.
Despite having a 28-13 advantage in shots, the Huskies could not find the back of the net. A stellar performance in net from keeper Emily Armstrong looked to be wasted, as the team would be forced to settle for a draw.
But then Stephanie Ribeiro happened.
With just over a minute left before the final whistle, the junior forward from Pawtucket, R.I. received a cross from freshman Rachel Hill, collected and buried a shot in the back of the net, giving her team the 1-0 victory with a golden goal in the team’s last gasp.
Despite having five shots – three of which were on target – Ribeiro had been left wanting in her efforts to score her first goal of the season.
“I just let them go,” said Ribeiro, who had three goals in 2012 for the Huskies. “I waited for the next opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Put the ball in the back of the net is exactly what she did, as Ribiero’s first goal propelled the Huskies to victory.
“I feel amazing,” Ribeiro said, out of breathe after a back and forth 109-minute affair. “First goal of the season and it was a big win, so it’s a big goal.”
UConn Defense Stellar in Front of Emily Armstrong
Once is an accident, twice is a trend and three times is a fact.
The fact is that UConn wins whenever Armstrong is solid in goal, as the freshman goalkeeper has kept a clean sheet in each of UConn’s six wins.
However, Armstrong is quick to point out that credit lies with the defense, as the unit as a whole is what holds UConn together.
“They did have a few opportunities that the defenders took away, so I was prepared for anything in those situations,” said Armstrong, who had five saves on the day. “It was pretty easy to stay active in this game the whole time, because they had multiple opportunities that were taken away by midfielders, defenders, forwards hustling and getting the ball back.”
Overall, Armstrong knows how important it is to be on the same page as her defense, as the Huskies will look to keep plenty more clean sheets throughout the season.
“It’s very important,” said Armstrong. “Working from the back, we all influence each other. If I’m having a bad day, I kind of affect the other players and it works its way up.”
Recent Form Earning UConn Recognition
The Huskies have hit their stride, as UConn has been able to win six of their past seven contests.
UConn has only allowed two goals in their past eight contests, while managing to fire nine of their own.
The recent hot streak has earned the Huskies both regional and national recognition, as UConn has received votes in numerous polls.
UConn received votes in the Sept. 10 NSCAA poll, while also being ranked fourth in the Northeast Region behind No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 10 Georgetown and Boston University.
However, coach Len Tsantiris is more focused on his team’s play on the field than opinions off it, as the Huskies will only look towards winning the next game.
“I don’t care about that. It’s what we do at the end,” said Tsantiris, who is in his 33rd year in charge of the Huskies. “We’ve got to fight in every game. We have to fight and get better and better so we can win in the end. It doesn’t matter if you’re way up in the ranks, because if you lose in the tournament, you’re out. We’ve got to learn. It’s a young team. They’ve got to learn to fight.”