The University of Connecticut women’s soccer team (10-2-0, 2-1-0) will continue American Athletic Conference play Thursday when they take on East Carolina (7-6-1, 2-2-0) at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The Huskies are currently undefeated at home, with a 5-0 record in Storrs this season.
The Huskies are coming off of their second conference win, a 1-0 home victory over Temple last Friday. Junior Rachel Hill delivered the only goal of the game in the 37th minute, her ninth score of the 2015 season. In goal, Emily Armstrong made five saves for UConn to secure her fourth shutout of the year.
Hill and junior Stephanie Ribeiro have propelled the Huskies’ offense so far, with 21 and 14 points respectively. Ribeiro’s four assists lead the team, while Hill, Samantha McGuire and Kim Urbanek have three each.
The Huskies will need every win they can get, as their conference schedule gets very difficult after they play East Carolina. After Thursday’s game, UConn will play Cincinnati, Memphis and Tulsa, all of who are currently above the Huskies in the conference standings.
East Carolina will also enter Thursday’s game with two conference wins. The Pirates are coming off of a two-game home stand against the American Athletic Conference’s two Florida teams. On Oct. 1, East Carolina defeated UCF 1-0. While on Oct. 4, the Pirates fell to the South Florida by a 2-1 score. The Huskies delivered the same two results when playing the two Florida teams during a late September road trip.
The Pirates have a zero goal differential in 2015, with 15 goals scored and 15 goals allowed. Lana Spitler is the team’s leading scorer, with six goals and 15 points. Spitler’s 53 shots leads the team’s shots by a large amount; no other Pirate has more than 25 attempts at goal.
Kendall Frey is the East Carolina’s second leading scorer, with four goals and 12 points. Frey’s four assists leads the team. In net, Saundra Baron has allowed 1.03 goals per game, with a .750 save percentage. All of seven of Baron’s wins have been shutout victories.
UConn won the only meeting between the two teams, which came in September of 2014. In that game, McGuire delivered the winning goal in overtime to pull out a 2-1 victory, after graduating senior Riley Houle equalized the game in the 70th minute. Andrea Plucenik added the assist on both of the Huskies’ goals.
Kickoff between UConn and East Carolina is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday. The Huskies will then close out the weekend with a 1 p.m. start against Cincinnati on Sunday at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
Tyler Keating is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus, covering UConn women's soccer. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.