AH grad plays in NCAA Division I soccer tourney

June 19th, 2015 9:20 am

First Posted: 11/23/2014

Julie Hubbard finished her college career where it started.

The 2009 Abington Heights graduate returned to Penn State University for a second-round game in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Tournament as a member of the University of Connecticut women’s soccer team.

Hubbard, who began her college career by playing parts of two seasons at Penn State, started at forward and led UConn in shots on goal during a 1-0 loss to Penn State Friday night.

During her final two seasons with the Huskies, Hubbard played in all 44 games, starting in 34. Her college career extended to five seasons over six years because of two redshirts allowed by the NCAA as she worked her way back from a series of injuries, including reconstructive knee surgeries for torn ACLs.

Connecticut, which finished 14-5-5, had a string of six straight shutouts, including three in the American Athletic Conference Championships and a 2-0 win over New Hampshire in the NCAA Tournament opener. The season ended when the Huskies lost to the eighth-ranked Nittany Lions for the second time this season.

Penn State led in shots, 19-10.

Hubbard shared the team lead in shots with three and was the only UConn player to put three of those shots on goal.

The Huskies started their surge toward the NCAA Tournament when Hubbard scored the game-winning goal Oct. 19 in a 1-0 Senior Day win over Central Florida to begin a six-game unbeaten streak that included two wins over the CAA rivals, who were ranked 18th nationally.

Hubbard finished the season tied for second on the Huskies in assists with four. She was the team’s fifth-leading scorer with 10 points, including three goals.

A Wyoming Valley Conference Player of the Year and all-state selection as a sophomore at Abington Heights in the spring of 2007, Hubbard missed her entire junior season after her first knee surgery. She played a little more than half her senior season and still repeated as WVC Player of the Year.

Hubbard began her college career at Penn State in the fall of 2009, appearing in five games, including an NCAA Tournament game against Colgate as a freshman.

After starting three early-season games as a sophomore, Hubbard finished the season with a goal and an assist in 11 games played.

Hubbard transferred to UConn and played in five games, starting four, to begin the 2011 season. She had a goal and an assist. Her career was again interrupted by injury until she recovered to start all 20 games of the 2013 season, scoring four goals, including two game-winners.

During her time at UConn, Hubbard played 49 games, including 38 starts, and had eight goals and five assists. For her college career as a whole, she had nine goals and six assists in 65 games, including 41 starts.