Houston had a problem on Thursday, and her name was Yamilee Eveillard.
After not winning and not scoring for four straight games, the UConn women’s soccer team picked up a huge win at home on Thursday against Houston. Eveillard, a junior forward, played the best game of her UConn career, scoring both the team’s goals in the 2-1 overtime victory.
Both teams entered the game with four-game losing streaks, so something had to give. The Huskies (5-7-1, 1-4 The American) picked up their first win in almost three weeks and their first conference win of the season. On the other side, the Cougars (3-10, 0-3 The American) continued their rough stretch and have not won since Sept. 15.
Before Eveillard took over in the second half, it looked like more of the same for UConn. The offense couldn’t get much going, only recording three shots the whole first half. Houston, however, got on the board in the 15th minute on a great pass by Amy Nguyen to set up Desiree Bowen with a header for her second goal of the season.
Houston took that 1-0 lead into halftime, marking the ninth consecutive half that the Huskies hadn’t scored. Eveillard made sure there wouldn’t be a 10th.
The Huskies created pressure right out of the half with shots and corner kicks. On the fifth UConn corner kick in just over a minute, the Huskies finally cashed in. In the 50th minute, freshman defender Jackie Harnett made a perfect pass to Eveillard, who battled for positioning in the box and headed the ball into the net. It was Harnett’s second assist of the season and Eveillard’s first goal since 2017.
The Huskies then started to get more shots off, outshooting Houston 11-5 in the second half. However, the score remained 1-1. Graduate student Vivien Beil nearly ended the game in regulation with a beautiful shot in the 89th minute, but it hit off the crossbar, so the teams played into overtime.
The Cougars got an opportunity first, but redshirt junior Randi Palacios made a save to keep the game tied. She finished with five saves, bringing her total to 66 so far this season.
Three-and-a-half minutes into the overtime period, junior midfielder Melina Couzis passed it ahead to redshirt sophomore forward Kess Elmore, who made a tough pass to Eveillard running up the side. She floated a shot over the head of the goaltender, where the ball hit off the head of a Houston defender and into the net. Eveillard finished her tremendous game with two goals on a team-high six shots. Couzis and Elmore were credited with their second and fourth assists of the season, respectively.
This game marked the second time this season that the Huskies were trailing at halftime but came back to win the game. They did the same thing against Colgate in a 2-1 win on Sept. 1.
UConn will look to carry the momentum from this key win into the next game on Sunday against SMU. Opening kick is set for 1 p.m. at Dillon Stadium. That is a must-win game for the Huskies, who are trying to remain in the hunt for an AAC tournament spot.
Danny Barletta is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @dbars_12.