DaGraca’s first career goal lifts UConn over BU
Published: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 8, 2013 23:09
The UConn men’s soccer team survived their second close game of the season Friday night with a 1-0 victory over the Boston University Terriers.
The No. 3 Huskies (2-0-0) started the game off slowly with only a few shots coming in the first several offensive series of the game. The BU defense flexed its muscles as it broke apart several promising UConn offensive opportunities for the majority of the first half.
But a first half substitution putting junior transfer midfielder Edir DaGraca in the match proved to be crucial for the UConn offense.
With just under five minutes to play in the first half, senior forward Mamadou Doudou Diouf passed to DaGraca who crossed over a BU defender and sent a shot into the lower left corner of the net.
The goal was DaGraca’s first as a Husky and turned out to be the deciding goal of the game.
The Terriers (0-2-0) came into Storrs Friday following a 2-1 overtime home loss to intra-city rival Boston College to start their season. Though they were able to keep the game competitive until the end, the victory was rarely in doubt for the Huskies largely in part to several late BU mental mistakes.
BU goalkeeper Matt Gilbert earned a red card in the 64th minute after taking out freshman midfielder Cyle Larin at the top of the penalty box. And the Terrier’s play really fell apart when BU junior Kelvin Madzongwe was also ejected less than 15 minutes later after a hard tackle on a Diouf breakaway.
Following the postponement of their second scheduled home game against William & Mary on Monday, the Huskies had no problem with getting some extra rest. The Huskies also jumped two spots in the national rankings in that time to No. 3 in the nation.
Junior goalkeeper Andre Blake recorded his second shutout of the season for the Huskies. Blake was the conference Goalkeeper of the Week this past week for his shutout performance against St. Francis in UConn’s season opening win.
UConn’s next match will be Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at home against the No. 19 University of Washington Huskies at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.