UConn women’s soccer team claimed the 2016 American Athletic Conference regular season title Sunday with a 2-1 comeback victory at East Carolina, behind two goals from senior Stephanie Ribeiro of Pawtucket, R.I.
The regular season champs finish with an almost perfect 8-0-1 conference record, and a 16-2-1 overall record at the conclusion of regular season play.
East Carolina struck first in minute 11, when Annah Lindberg scored on ECU’s third shot of the game to take an early 1-0 lead. The Pirates almost claimed a two-goal lead a few minutes later after they found the back of the net, but were deemed offside and the score remained 1-0.
Ribeiro tied it up 1-1 after she scored her 18th goal of the season off a pass from sophomore Kim Urbanek of Lonnerstadt, Germany. UConn had three good shots in the remainder of the first half, but neither UConn nor ECU could break the tie heading into the break.
In the second half, Ribeiro shook things up at the start of the second half after she dinged the ball off the post, but the score stayed locked at 1-1. Senior Rachel Hill of Rollinsford, N.H., scored for the Huskies immediately after Ribeiro’s shot off the post, but the goal was waved off as Hill was offside.
Senior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong of Collegeville, Pa., made a series of big plays including a game-changing save with under 20 minutes to go, preserving the 1-1 tie. With the clock ticking down and the prospect of overtime looming, Ribeiro nabbed her 11th game-winning goal of the season.
Sunday’s win over ECU marks Ribeiro’s fifth multi-goal game of the season, four of which came against conference opponents. It is also her eighth game where she has tallied three or more points.