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Fall an outstanding season
for nationally ranked Husky teams
October 26, 1998

UConn will begin the upcoming winter sports season with its well-known men's and women's basketball programs both ranked among the top five teams in the nation.

But even before it's time for basketball to command the spotlight of the entire state, UConn is enjoying a phenomenal fall sports season.

The results through October 18 show four different Husky squads ranked among the best collegiate teams in the country and those four squads have combined for an overall record of 46 wins, just three losses, and two ties.

Men's Soccer
The Connecticut men's soccer program, perfect on the year at 14-0 and ranked number one in the nation, is on its way to recapturing the national glory it knew in the 1980s. It is led by second-year head coach Ray Reid.

On the field, the team is guided by two outstanding veterans, graduate student and All-American Bobby Rhine (Florissant, Mo.) and senior All-America candidate Maurizio Rocha (from Santa Cruz, Bolivia). Their leadership has assured the Huskies of their first NCAA tournament berth since the 1989 season. UConn also is unbeaten in Big East Conference play.

Following the conclusion of regular season play, UConn will host a first-round Big East Conference game on November 7, at the Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. If successful in that contest, UConn would advance to the Big East tourney semifinals/finals, scheduled for November 13 and 15 at Rutgers University.

After the Big East Tournament, UConn will await seedings and pairings for the 1998 NCAA Tournament, which begins November 20-21.

Women's Field Hockey
Under the direction of ninth-year head coach Nancy Stevens, the women's field hockey team is on its way to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth and the 11th NCAA invitation in the school's proud field hockey history.

Connecticut field hockey was a dominant national program in the 1980s, winning a pair of national championships (1981, 1985) and appearing in five consecutive NCAA "Final Fours."

In 1998, playing on its beautiful home "turf" at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs, Connecticut field hockey has a record of 14-2 and is ranked number two in the country, as the Huskies wind down the regular season and prepare for Big East Tournament competition and the NCAA Championship.

In both 1996 and 1997, Connecticut won the Big East Conference regular season titles; the Huskies also won the Big East Tournament crown in 1996. Both of those seasons saw UConn advance as far as the NCAA quarterfinals. During the past three seasons, UConn's overall record is an impressive 51-11.

UConn's play in the 1998 Big East Tournament will take place at VillaNovember University (November 6 and 8) and the first/second round of NCAA Tournament play is scheduled for campus sites on November 14-15.

Women's Soccer
The women's soccer team, currently 13-0-2 and ranked number 3, annually ranks among the top collegiate programs in the country. Head coach Len Tsantiris is recognized as one of the sport's top coaches.

During the current 1998 season, Tsantiris became only the second coach in NCAA Division I women's soccer history to record 300 collegiate career victories. Through games of October 18, his 18 years in charge of UConn women's soccer produced an outstanding overall record of 302 wins, only 71 losses, and 20 ties.

Connecticut joins North Carolina as the only two schools in the country whose women's soccer teams have earned a berth in all 16 NCAA Tournaments, dating back to the inception of tourney play in 1982.

Connecticut heads into the final two weeks of the 1998 regular season unbeaten and ranked number three in the nation. When the regular season draws to a close, UConn will take part in the Big East Conference Tournament. The semifinals and finals of the event will be held at the Storrs campus in the Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on November 6 and 8. Following the Big East tourney, Connecticut will await pairings for the NCAA Division I Tournament, set to start play November 14-15.

Fifth-year head coach Skip Holtz has marched the 1998 UConn football program up through the National Top 25 polls and, coming off its exciting 44-41 overtime victory against Massachusetts on October 17 with a 5-1 record, UConn is ranked number 10 in the nation.

The Huskies have had to overcome the loss of starting quarterback Shane Stafford, who has a broken collarbone. Back-up quarterback Brian Hoffmann made his career start a memorable one vs. UMass, setting a pair of Connecticut Football all-time single-game records by passing for 413 yards and netting 434 yards in total offense.

Six games into the team's 11-game regular season schedule, the Huskies stand at 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The primary goals for the Huskies would be an Atlantic 10 championship and the school's first-ever berth in the 16-team Division I-AA playoffs.

An invitation to post-season play would be especially sweet, because UConn is celebrating its 100th year of football this fall. On Saturday, after the Homecoming Weekend football game against Rhode Island, UConn honored its 100th Anniversary All-Time Football Team, a 44-member squad composed of the greatest gridiron stars in the school's history.