After claiming the 2016 American Athletic Conference regular season title Sunday, the UConn women’s soccer team cleaned house when the league announced its regular season awards Tuesday.
Six Huskies were represented on All-Conference teams. Notably, on the First Team All-Conference, UConn had the most players – four as opposed to the one or two athletes representing other schools.
Named to the First Team All-Conference:
Senior Stephanie Ribeiro (Pawtucket, R.I.) #18 was unanimously selected Offensive Player of the Year, which earned her a spot on the All-Conference First Team for the second straight year. Not only does Ribeiro currently lead the team with a career-best 49 points (19g, 11a), she also leads on the national stage, heading the country in total points (49) and game-winners (11) and is tied for first in total goals (19). Ribeiro was named Offensive Player of the Week four times this season. She has recorded five multi-goal games this season, four coming against conference opponents, and is just four points away from joining the UConn “100 Point Club.”
Senior Toriana Patterson (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) #13 earned the title of Co-Defensive Player of the Year to claim First Team All-Conference honors for the first time in her career. Starting in all 19 matches for UConn, Patterson was a staple in the UConn defense, which has posted nine shutouts this season. She was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week after helping UConn to back-to-back shutouts in 200 minutes of play on the road at SMU and Houston. Following that performance, Patterson scored her first career goal for the Huskies, the game-winning goal, on Oct. 13 in the 3-0 shutout against the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Senior Rachel Hill (Rollinsford, N.H.) #3 was deemed Co-Midfielder of the Year and was awarded a spot on the All-Conference First Team for a fourth consecutive season. Earning the start in all 19 matches, Hill is second on the team with 31 points. She has spent this season climbing the ranks of the program record book. Her 13 goals this season put her second in program history with 58 career goals, while her combined 31 points this year leave her fourth in overall career points. For more about Hill, see this video.
Senior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong (Collegeville, Pa.) #1 was chosen as Goalkeeper of the Year for the second consecutive season, and was the fourth player representing UConn on the All-Conference First Team. Starting in all 19 matches, Armstrong saw all 1,730 minutes in net for the Huskies during the regular season, recording 84 saves for a .857 save percentage and a 0.73 goals against average. Armstrong anchored the back line of the UConn defense and pitched a career-best nine solo shutouts this season. She is currently second in the program record book for all-time career shutouts. Armstrong took home Goalkeeper of the Week accolades on three occasions this year, and also earned Academic All-District honors.
In addition, the coach and two freshmen won honors this year.
Head coach Len Tsantiris earned Coach of the Year honors for the second consecutive season after guiding the Huskies to their second consecutive regular season title. This year, he was named Co-Coach of the Year along with Chris Petrucelli of SMU. Tsantiris, who is in his 36th season at UConn, celebrated his 550th career victory this year, after the Huskies defeated Stony Brook 4-1 on Sept. 11. Tsantiris coached the women to a 16-2-1 overall record and a near perfect 8-0-1 record in American Athletic Conference play. This season’s 16-2-1 outcome puts Tsantiris’ overall coaching record at 560-191-56, giving him a .729 career win percentage.
Additionally, freshmen Alana Moore (Oakton, Va.) #21 and Kristen Vinciguerra (Saddle River, N.J.) #17 were named to the All-Rookie Team for their performances in 2016. Moore saw action in all 19 games and earned 16 starts in her inaugural season, while Vinciguerra started in 16 of 18 appearances and had three points (1g, 1a) following the regular season.
The Huskies automatically advance to the American Athletic Conference semifinals on Friday, Nov. 4 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. They will face the winner of No. 5 Cincinnati and No. 4 USF, which will be decided on Wednesday, Nov. 2.