UConn tops SMU for first win in new conference
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 01:09
The UConn women’s soccer team kicked off its inaugural American Athletic Conference campaign, as the Huskies were able to knock off the SMU Mustangs by a score of 2-1.
The American, which is in its first year of existence, kicked off for the first time yesterday, and the Huskies were among the first teams to open conference play.
The Huskies were led by freshman sensation Rachel Hill and redshirt junior Julie Hubbard, both of whom were able to tally on the night.
The scoring was opened in the seventh minute by Hill, who was able to notch her sixth goal of the season. Hill’s strike was unassisted, as the rookie was able to dribble all the way across the box before placing one into the lower left corner.
After the game, head coach Len Tsantiris was very complimentary of his young forward.
“She has really explosive speed and she reads the game,” Tsantiris said. “She’s really good at reading the game and finding other players and working with what space she has available. She’s not a strong kid, but she looks at the goal. She’s very powerful going at the goal.”
The Mustangs were able to equalize just four minutes later, as SMU star Shelby Redman was able to slot home a rebound for her seventh goal of the season.
The deadlock was broken by UConn’s Hubbard, as the junior scored a curler from 25 yards out. Hubbard’s ball found its way into the lower right corner, giving UConn everything they would need on the night.
“Obviously this is first game of our conference play, so we were all really excited to get out there,” said Hubbard, who scored her second goal since coming back from an ACL injury. “We know how important it is getting these points early on. We just didn’t want to drop it, we got the result. We got the result we wanted.”
The Huskies were dominant in the attacking third, as they outshot the visiting Mustangs 28 to eight.
“We have to try to get goals,” Tsantiris said. “They have confidence because they deserve it. They deserve to get goals. They play well.”
From here, UConn will be looking to assert themselves in the American, as coach Tsantiris thinks the Huskies have a chance to do something special in conference play.
“Three points is a good start,” Hill said. “Hopefully we just keep it up, get another win Sunday, keep going from there.”
“We got good players,” said Tsantiris, who is in his 33rd year in charge. “They just have to do it.”
UConn, whose record improves to 7-4-0 on the season, will be back in action Sunday as they take on visiting Houston in conference action.