By Spencer Mayfield
After advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2014, the UConn women’s soccer team will have high expectations for their 2015 campaign where they will return several key players.
The Huskies are coming off a very successful season where they won the American Athletic Conference Championship and finished the year with a 14-5-5 record.
The Huskies are on the upward trend after posting back-to-back seasons with double digit wins for the first time since the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
UConn will be returning their biggest offensive threat in Rachel Hill, who led the team with 16 goals scored in 2014. Heading into her junior season Hill has already gained national attention and there is no reason to believe that she will not continue to improve. Hill, who was named the American Athletic Conference Co-Offensive Player of the year in 2014, has started in every game during her UConn career.
Hill will not be alone on the UConn attack, the Huskies are also returning Danielle Gottwik and Samantha McGuire who scored six goals apiece last season, tied for second most on the team.
The Huskies will be faced with replacing the leadership of Riley Houle, who lead the team with five assists as well as six goals from the forward position. UConn will likely look to McGuire to fill that role. McGuire has played in every game during her UConn career heading into her senior year.
Besides the possibility of having a great offense, UConn returns two goalkeepers that saw major playing time in 2014. Allison Saucier started 23 games in goal for the Huskies and posted a 76-percent save percentage. Emily Armstrong also saw action in 23 games despite having only three starts in goal. Armstrong posted an 82-percent save percentage.
The 2015 season will be all about taking the next step for the Huskies. UConn has plenty of moments to build on from the 2014 season, including holding a two-goal lead at home of the eventual national champion Florida State Seminoles. The sky is the limit for this UConn team that is returning not only talent but experience as well.