Soccer opens conference play with a win over UConn
Houston opened its American Athletic Conference season with a 3–2 win against the now 2–8 UConn Huskies.
Both teams had plenty of chances to score, but the Cougars came out on top after a close finish.
Sophomore forward Jazmin Grant got things started for the Cougars in the first minute of play with a hard push on the Huskies’ defenders that came up short.
Houston had many more chances to attack while the defense stopped several UConn advances within the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Cougars’ hard-nosed play continued when redshirt junior defender Lauren Flowers crossed the ball to Grant deep in Husky territory.
Flowers’ pass went too long, but it set up the play where Grant chipped in sophomore midfielder Mia Brascia’s free kick to put Houston on the board in minute 11.
On the other side of the field, freshman defender Emma Clarke dominated the opposing attackers. The New Zealand native single-handedly stopped presses from the AAC rivals on several occasions.
Junior defender Nolin Packer entered the game in minute 22 and immediately made her presence felt on the pitch.
Within the first three and a half minutes of her being in the game, she nutmegged a Huskies’ defender and hit a header that went just high.
The ensuing UConn counterattack almost threatened Houston’s lead, but it was stopped by an offside call by the linesman.
Houston ended the first half with several missed shots and a save for junior goalkeeper Samantha Cude.
Freshmen defenders Cassidy Formanek and Morgan Goode earned themselves yellow cards to start off the second half for the team.
UConn’s senior defender Elena Santos capitalized on a pass from junior midfielder Erin Spillane to equalize in minute 54.
UH freshman midfielder Reid Morrison quickly followed up with the first goal of her collegiate career just over a minute later to put Houston back in the lead.
Houston had a high chance at extending its lead in minute 76 when sophomore midfielder Olivia Lee cannoned a shot that hit the crossbar.
In minute 80, redshirt junior defender Madison Fulp launched a shot to give her team some cushion.
Although UConn freshman forward Isabelle Lynch scored her second-ever goal in minute 83, it was in vain as Houston won its first conference matchup.
UH will take the field at the Carl Lewis Complex again when Temple comes into town to face it on Sunday at 1 p.m.