UConn women's soccer to take on La Salle
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 23:09
Coming off another win at home last Sunday, the UConn women’s soccer team will face La Salle at Morrone Stadium in a crucial midseason game today.
UConn (5-3-0) handled Dartmouth last Sunday without much trouble, winning the game 2-0 with 18 shots. The Huskies gave up only 10 shots to the Big Green in a game featuring two different players in the home goal. Freshman goalkeeper Emily Armstrong was pulled midway through the second half to allow sophomore Allison Saucer to have some playing time.
UConn has won five out of their last six games, losing only to Boston University 1-0 last Friday in Boston. Both Boston University and UConn had received votes in the national coaches’ poll prior to the start of that game.
The La Salle Explorers (6-1-0) have had a strong start to their season, winning their last four games. Their only loss came at the hands of No. 9 Penn State. La Salle’s performance even resulted in votes in the Sept. 17 national coaches’ poll.
The Explorers’ most recent game was against Loyola (Md.), where La Salle scored four goals on 22 shots. They blanked Loyola, giving up only seven shots to the Greyhounds.
La Salle, a notoriously offensive team, will be a challenge to a Huskies’ squad that has primarily relied on their defense to win games this season. The Explorers have scored 14 goals in their first seven games, compared to UConn’s 10 goals in eight games.
Freshman forward Rachel Hill has been the crux of UConn’s offense early in the season. Hill has four goals and one assist, and with junior forward Riley Houle chipping in another three goals and one assist, these two have been the primary offensive pieces for the Huskies.
“(Rachel) plays like a senior,” coach Len Tsantiris said following Sunday’s game. “Not only the goals that she scores, but she holds the ball so well. And she runs every forward ball that we place and she makes it look good. … You can’t teach that stuff.”
Furthermore, after battling injuries since 2011, junior forward and co-captain Julie Hubbard scored for the first time in two years, adding another element of dynamism to the Huskies’ offense. Hubbard believes scoring that first goal will prove crucial to her performance going forward.
“It’s a psychological thing, a block,” Hubbard said. “It’s gone now, and hopefully I can keep producing.”
Based on the results of the first half of the season, Hill, Houle and Hubbard will need to have strong performances if the Huskies want to counter La Salle’s offense.
The game will begin at 7 p.m. at Morrone Stadium and will be broadcast on WHUS 91.7 FM.