After seeing a 15-game win streak at home snapped last weekend, No. 18 UConn women’s soccer to start a new one Friday night.
The Huskies (3-1-0) are set to host Pacific and Central Connecticut this weekend. They lost their first game of the season last Sunday to Rutgers, which has won its last three contests against UConn, including last year’s Sweet 16.
Head coach Len Tsantiris said his team was tired during Sunday’s contest, and there is no doubt in his mind that they will be fresh and ready to go this weekend, starting with the Pacific Tigers Friday night.
Friday will mark the first meeting between the Huskies and the Tigers. Pacific (0-2-0) has only scored a total of two goals so far, both coming in their most recent 5-2 loss against New Mexico.
As a team, Pacific struggles to create any offensive situations, taking only 13 shots on the season so far, seven coming on goal. For comparison, UConn has a total of 69, including 22 against Rutgers. The Tigers have allowed 27 shots, 22 of which were on goal. The Huskies, prone to holding possession for long periods of time, could spend the majority of the game in the Tigers’ zone, which would be a much-needed low-pressure game for the struggling Husky defense.
CCSU (0-4-0) – set to play UConn Sunday afternoon – has experienced even less success this season. The Blue Devils have only scored one goal through four games. They may prove to be a slightly tougher test for the UConn defense, as the Blue Devils do take more shots, averaging 9.5 shots per game as opposed to Pacific’s 6.5. Fifteen of CCSU’s shots have come on goal. However, because of the low number of goals scored and the strength of senior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong, it should prove to be a good learning experience.
After Sunday’s loss, senior Maddie Damm said the team’s that their struggle against Rutgers was nothing more than a bad day for the Huskies. She said they will be going into the weekend homestand with the exact same mentality, confident that her and her teammates will come out of the gate strong and ready to create goal scoring chances from the start.
“We just have to capitalize on our opportunities,” Damm said. “We try to go into every game with the same mentality. We want to win. We want to beat every team.”
Seniors Rachel Hill and Stephanie Ribeiro lead the team’s offensive categories, each with five points, two goals and one assist. Damm also has a goal of her own.
If the Huskies sweep the homestand, the two victories will give Tsantiris his 548th an 549th career wins as a head coach, just one away from career win 550. Tsantiris is the second-most winningest head coach in NCAA soccer history.
Hill has a chance to close the gap on UConn’s all-time goals scored record. She is 17 goals away from this feat.