Women’s Soccer: Huskies steal one against Memphis thanks to late goal

UConn women's soccer forward Liana Hinds prepares to kick the ball during the Huskies' game against Temple at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The No. 15 UConn women’s soccer team (13-2-0, 5-1-0) scored a late goal to defeat conference rival Memphis (7-5-3, 2-2-2) by a 1-0 score in Tennessee on Thursday night. With the victory, the Huskies improved their winning streak to five games, with all five wins coming in American Athletic Conference play.

Samantha McGuire scored the match’s lone goal in the 79th minute, which gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead that they would not relinquish. The goal was McGuire’s fourth tally of the season.

The first half was an exciting one, as both Memphis goalkeeper Maryse Bard-Martel and UConn goalkeeper Emily Armstrong found their nets under siege from shot attempts. McGuire registered five shots and teammate Andrea Plucenik registered three. Both players forced early saves from Bard-Martel.

The Tigers had a huge scoring chance late in the half, firing a shot off the cross bar. Going into the halftime break, UConn and Memphis had tallied 10 shots. The Tigers finished the half with a 3-2 lead in shots on goal.

The second half began slowly, as it took a few minutes for the first shot to be recorded. The half’s first dangerous chance came about ten minutes in, when UConn defender Annie Wickett broke up a potential Memphis breakaway. A few minutes later, Kim Urbanek fired a shot on net off a corner kick, which was saved by Bard-Martel.

The Tigers narrowly missed a goal again in the 71st minute when Valerie Sanderson knocked a shot off the post. At that point in the match, the Tigers held a 14-11 advantage in shots, with both teams recording three shots on goal.

McGuire gave the Huskies the lead in the 79th minute, firing a shot that bounced off Bard-Martel and into the back of the net.

For the remaining 11 minutes, the UConn defense dug in and withstood a relentless Memphis attack to protect their newfound lead. A pair of headers were the Tigers’ best chances; one just missed the post, while another was swallowed by Armstrong to preserve the victory.

Armstrong made four saves and was credited with the win, while Bard-Martel made three saves in defeat. Armstrong has now recorded three consecutive shutouts, all in conference play.

The victory improved UConn to 1-1-1 in the all-time series against Memphis. The Huskies will continue their road trip this Sunday, Oct. 18 in Tulsa at 1 p.m.


Tyler Keating is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus, covering UConn women's soccer. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu.