From the merits of winning the regular season American Athletic Conference title, the UConn women’s soccer team will host the 2016 postseason Conference Tournament. The action started Wednesday evening as third-seeded SMU defeated sixth-seeded UCF in penalty kicks to face Memphis in the semi-finals.
On the other side, UConn (16-2-1) had a bye as they watched fourth-seeded USF and fifth-seeded Cincinnati battle for the right to face them. For the second time on Wednesday, USF defeated Cincinnati in overtime despite some crazy happenings.
The Bulls (12-3-2), at one point a Top 25 team during the season, will take on the Huskies at Morrone Stadium Friday at 7 p.m. In their first matchup of the season, UConn defeated USF 3-1 on Oct. 16 at home on Senior Day. Standout senior forwards Stephanie Ribeiro and Rachel Hill did the damage. Ribeiro had two goals and an assist. Hill had one goal and one assist.
The Huskies come in having six members of the squad win conference awards. Ribeiro was named offensive player of the year and Hill was named co-midfielder of the year. Senior goalie Emily Armstrong was named goalkeeper of the year. Senior defender Tori Patterson was named co-defensive player of the year. All four of them were named First Team All-Conference. Midfielder Alana Moore and defender/midfielder Kristin Vinciguerra were both named to the All-Rookie Team as well. Last but not least, head coach Len Tsantiris won Co-Coach of the year.
USF had a more pedestrian showing, but were still well-represented. Freshman forward Evelyne Viens won Rookie of the Year and was named First Team All-Conference. She will be the one the Huskies have to watch out for, as she is third in the conference with 16 goals and four assists for 36 points.
The Bulls also placed three players on the Second Team All-Conference. Senior forward Trudi Carter, freshman midfielder Andrea Hauksdottir and senior defender Jordyn Listro were all recognized for the success. Viens and Hauksdottir also made the All-Rookie Team.
The Huskies will continue to rely on the offensive prowess of Hill and Ribeiro which is what got them here. Ribeiro is leading the country in points with 49 and game-winning goals with 11. She is also tied for first in goals with 19. Four more points and she will join UConn’s 100 point club.
Her partner in crime, Hill, has 31 points on 13 goals and is currently the second all-time in UConn history with 58 total goals.
Matt Barresi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.