Nov. 13, 2009

Courtesy of Connecticut Athletics

NEWTON, Mass. - With a sense of urgency in her, senior Brittany Taylor (Campbell Hall, N.Y.) took the ball and dribbled up the field firing a laser of a shot at the BU goal to record her first goal of the season and first goal since September 21, 2007. The captain not only helped her team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament but helped to win the 500th game in the 31-year history of UConn women's soccer.

The senior defender doesn't quite remember the entire play. "The only part I remember is beating the last defender, looking up and trying to keep the ball on frame," said Taylor. "Then I screamed and ran back to my team!"

This is the second time that UConn has defeated Boston University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and now holds a 2-1 record against the Terriers.

The Huskies improved their record to 11-7-2 on the season, halting BU's five game win-streak as the Terriers finished the year with a 14-6-2 record.

"Boston University played a great game," said head coach Len Tsantiris in the postgame presser. "They really worked, put a ton of pressure on our defense and disrupted a lot of plays. But we defended well and really came together in the end of the game after not playing for two weeks. Towards the end of the game this really helped our team. We were able to keep going while BU was slowing down."

UConn now holds a 14-5-1 career record in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and are 2-1 against the Terriers all-time in post-season action, all games coming in the first round.

The Huskies have improved their overall postseason record to 44-26-2 (62.5%) and their overall program record to 500-154-45 (64.7%).

The two teams battled to a 0-0 tie in the first half but both squads had some good chances on goal. UConn's best chance in the first half came in the 41st minute of play when Taylor came streaking up the field to take a shot that looked like it went past the goal line to give the Huskies the lead. But before the entire ball could cross the plane, the BU goalkeeper Janie Reilly stopped it to keep the game knotted at one entering the second half.

The Terriers outshot the Huskies 7-4 in the first half, but only had one more shot on goal than the Huskies.

In the second, it was Boston University that had a couple of good chances. Farrell McClernon, BU's most dangerous player, first took a shot in the 50th minute that got past a diving Ally Mancino (Belle Mead, N.J.), but streaked right past the right goal post. Just six minutes later, McClernon dashed up the field firing a laser shot at the goal. Mancino's hands shot right up in the air and saved the would-be goal for the Huskies from point blank range.

Sophomore Melissa Busque (St. Bruno, Quebec) had her chance in the second half. Taylor dished out a pass to Busque and after a slight miscue; the forward turned and fired a shot on goal that was stopped by Reilly. BU responded with some pressure of their own, but were unable to get the ball near the goal thanks to the strong Husky defense.

In the penultimate minute of the game it looked like the Terriers were on the board. Jessica Lusicinski served up a free kick that Casey Brown headed just to the right of the goalpost which kept the score 0-0 heading into the first overtime period.

UConn brought the offense in the second overtime period after neither team was able to score in the first. Junior Elise Fugowski (Stockholm, N.J.) took a couple of shots, one blocked and one saved, while rookie Linda Ruutu (Espoo, Finland) took a shot that was blocked and junior Becky Gundling (Farmington, Conn.) tipped the ball just over the crossbar.

After a passback by junior Kacey Richards (Williamstown, N.J.), Taylor took the ball and streaked down the field firing a shot that no one could have stopped. Richards' assist was the first of the season for the All-BIG EAST Third Team honoree.

Tonight's game is the second overtime game the Huskies have had against Boston University this year and the third time the Huskies have gone into overtime with the Terriers in the history of the program. The last time UConn and BU faced off in overtime in the NCAA Tournament, BU pulled out the victory in the second overtime period. The win was the last NCAA victory for the Terriers.

This is also the fourth straight overtime game for the Huskies. UConn registered a 0-1-2 record in their three previous games earning ties against West Virginia and Villanova.

In just her second start of the season, Mancino finished the game with a career-high five saves for the Huskies.