Women's Soccer: Tsantiris, Huskies continue to expand offensive options

Members of the UConn women's soccer team celebrate after scoring a goal against Army at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Connecticut on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. (Jackson Haigis/The Daily Campus)

UConn women’s soccer earned its sixth straight victory to open the season Friday night in Storrs, winning 3-0 against Army.

The Huskies’ (6-0-0) front line once again produced nearly 20 shots, continuing the trend of strong offensive play that has characterized this team. As sophomore forward Tanya Altrui put it, this team’s style of play is “what strikers live for.”

Army (2-5-0) maintained possession of the ball for several long stretches, but could not find offensive cohesion inside the box. The Black Knights went without a shot in the second half.

Hill scores again

Junior forward Rachel Hill scored in her fifth game this season, bringing her goal total to six in the year and 35 in her career. A breakaway shot misplayed by Army’s goalkeeper allowed Hill to tap in the ball in the 16th minute and give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Head coach Len Tsantiris sung her praises after the game.

“I know what I’m going to get from Rachel – she’s going to work her butt off,” Tsantiris said. “If I had another 10 Rachels, I would win the national championship. I would sit on the bench. I wouldn’t even do the work.”

Hinds, Altrui score first goals of season

Altrui and senior forward Liana Hinds both scored their first goals of the season against Army. The goals came late in the game and solidified the Huskies’ lead. Hinds’ goal came in the 80th minute as she navigated through two defenders en route to a shot to the far side corner. Altrui scored just minutes later in the 84th minute on a corner kick.

“Coach is always telling to go down the line, take players on,” Hinds said. “So, I’m just going to keep trying to do that, get crosses in to Rachel (Hill) and Steph (Ribeiro).”

Armstrong, defense maintain clean sheet

For the second time this season, UConn has held its opponent scoreless. Junior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong made one save in the first half and let the defense handle the rest. Army was held to just three shots in the first 45 minutes and could not muster another in the second half.

“(Armstrong) is a great goalkeeper – ability-wise, she’s great” Tsantiris said. “She’s got tremendous range. ... She’s also got a tremendous reach. You can’t beat her. She a shot-stopper.”

Damm injured?

Junior forward Maddie Damm sustained a left-wrist injury after colliding with another player heading into halftime. She remained on the field for several minutes as the other players cleared off to meet with their coaches at the half. 

Damm returned to play late in the second half, coming back on in the 84th minute. The trainer splinted the wrist to reduce the pain and allow her back on the field. Tsantiris was not immediately aware of the details of the injury, but said the training staff would not have cleared her if it were serious.

“I’m going to get X-rays (Saturday),” Damm said. “But it should be fine.”

Damm played 18 minutes on Sunday against Rutgers.


Kyle Constable is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at kyle.constable@uconn.edu. He tweets @KyleConstable.