UConn women's soccer looks to rebound against Marist
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 23:09
The UConn women’s soccer team will take on Marist College at Joseph Morrone Stadium on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. after a promising weekend in Indiana against two of the nation’s elite programs.
At the Notre Dame Adidas Invitational in South Bend on Friday, the Huskies fell 2-0 to the No. 19 team in the country, North Carolina, despite outshooting the Tar Heels 10-8. They faced another Top 25 team on Sunday in No.24 Santa Clara and battled to a 1-1 stalemate.
The Huskies will have an opportunity to get back in the win column on Wednesday night. Marist is off to a 3-1 start out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and are fresh off the heels of a 1-0 victory over Fordham last Sunday.
For UConn, a critical factor to their 2-2-1 start against a very competitive schedule has been the successful integration of their 12 freshmen into the rotation. Samantha McGuire (three goals, one assist) and Stephanie Ribeiro (one goal, two assists) have provided a spark offensively while fellow classmate Allison Saucier has posted an impressive 1.85 goals per game average as the goaltender.
“The strong play of the freshmen has shown for sure,” said senior captain Danielle Dakin. “They have displayed their intensity and confidence on the field, which has resulted in some great goals. There are a lot of freshmen this year so it has been great that the whole team has been able to mesh so well this early in the season.”
In addition to the infusion of talented freshmen, the Huskies will also look to continue to draw on the strong play and leadership of their veterans. Senior forward Danielle Schuman led the team in points (15) and goals (7) in 2011, and is off to another impressive start. She is tied with McGuire for the team lead with three goals and is setting the pace with 9 points.
Following the Marist game, the Huskies will have only one non-conference game remaining on their schedule, a contest with Central Connecticut next Saturday. After that, they will embark on a crucial stretch of conference games, starting with a match at Syracuse on the 13th. In a Big East preseason coaches poll, UConn was predicted to finish sixth in the conference.
With just over a week before the start of conference games, the Huskies are hoping to continue to improve and to avoid the mid-season slump that plagues many teams.
“As a captain, Gurnon and I want to maintain a positive and competitive environment,” said Dakin. “The season flies by and there is no time for a slump, so maintaining the right attitude and having the entire team on the same page is important.”