Women's soccer hopes to keep a "clean sheet"
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 22:09
The UConn women’s soccer team will look to grab their third consecutive win today against the Maine Black Bears at 5 p.m. at Morrone Stadium.
The Huskies will also play former Big East rival Syracuse on Sunday at 1 p.m. as part of the two-game weekend home stand.
UConn defeated Central Connecticut 3-0 in their previous contest and have kept their opposition off the board in their last two games.
“I just want to keep it a clean sheet for as long as I can,” goalkeeper Emily Armstrong said. “I am excited with my defense in front of me and we’re going to do really well.”
The UConn defense hasn’t staggered as of late, as they not only have kept their net empty, but have also done a good job being in the right position and helping one another get to the right spots at the right time.
The defense for the Huskies begins with junior Gabrielle Charno, who was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
“After the Wisconsin game we came together,” Armstrong said. “We knew where each other were, so if one stepped, one dropped in and covered the space. We were always in the right position so we always have very good cover.”
After losing their first two games to Wisconsin and No. 2 Stanford, UConn defeated Boston College and Central, tallying a total of four goals.
Freshman forward Rachel Hill, who scored two of the four goals, has been one of the young stars for the Huskies thus far in the season.
Hill was named the American’s Rookie of the Week and is currently the Huskies leading scorer.
“Hopefully I can keep it up,” Hill said. “So far I have done well, but it’s only a few games now so hopefully I can keep doing it.”
The Huskies currently sit at 2-2-0, but have a ton of confidence offensively and defensively heading into their matchup with Maine.
Maine is 3-0-0 to start the year, beating Holy Cross, Bryant and Central.
“We have to take it one game at a time,” Coach Len Tsantiris said. “Maine is going to be a good opponent and we have to be ready, prepare and play the way we want to play; we’re not going to worry about what they’re going to do. … We have to get better as a team, that’s the focus, better defending and better attacking.”
Their second opponent of the weekend, Syracuse, has also started off the season strong, piecing together a 4-1-0 record with wins against Hofstra, Albany, Colgate and Fairleigh-Dickinson.
Sophomore forward Erin Simon leads the Orange in offense this season, scoring four goals. Adding freshman Stephanie Skilton’s three goals to the total, the Syracuse offense has been enough to drive them to a strong start.
As for the Huskies’ approach to the game, Tsantiris’ philosophy for playing the multi-sport rival is simple.
“What the other team does is up to them, we’re not going to change anything because of this, that or the other,” Tsantiris said. “Every game you’ve got learn, move forward and get better.”
For UConn, Syracuse is no different than any other opponent they will face this season, according to Tsantiris. Despite several seasons of mediocre performance, the goal for the Huskies is still to win a national championship.
“Is this group able to get there?” Tsantiris said. “We’ll see.”