The No. 18 UConn women’s soccer team will take on No. 10 Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at 4 p.m. at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey. Notre Dame is a No. 3 seed in the tournament.
The Huskies picked up their 18th win of the season last Sunday in the first round of the tournament as they defeated Siena 5-0 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The five-goal output was the most the Huskies have scored in a single game this season.
“Our chemistry was great,” UConn junior forward Rachel Hill said after the offensive explosion against Siena. “We moved the ball around really well today.”
Junior forward Stephanie Ribeiro scored twice for the Huskies in the victory while freshman Kim Urbanek, senior Annie Wickett and Hill added goals of their own. UConn’s defensive effort was equally strong, as Siena was only able to muster one-shot attempt.
“We worked as a group,” Wickett said after the game. “We did everything we could to make sure they didn’t get shots or good chances on frame.”
Next, the Huskies will take on a Notre Dame team that had big win of their own in the first round of the tournament. The Fighting Irish moved to 14-4-1 on the season with a 5-0 rout of Oakland last Friday, with an 8-0-1 record outside of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“It definitely feels good going in to play Notre Dame,” Ribeiro said. “Hopefully in practice and everything we keep working and give them a good game.”
Notre Dame’s key offensive player is senior Anne Gilbertson, who has notched 13 goals this year; no other player has scored more than four times. Sabrina Flores leads the team with six assists, while Natalie Jacobs has recorded five assists of her own.
Kaela Little has started 13 of Notre Dame’s 19 games in net, recording a 0.44 goals against average with a .400 save percentage.
The Fighting Irish own a 22-5-4 record all-time against UConn. The last meeting came in the 2012 regular season, as Notre Dame shut out the Huskies 4-0 in Storrs.
The winner of Friday’s game will advance to play the winner of Hofstra vs. No. 2-seeded Rutgers at Yurcak Field.