Huskies fall one win short of the Final Four
Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08
The University of Connecticut men’s soccer team fell just one hurdle shy of a Final Four appearance Sunday, as Creighton defeated UConn 1-0 courtesy of an 89th minute goal.
“Like I said last week, the game is a cruel game,” said UConn Head Coach Ray Reid during a somber press conference following the tough loss.
“If we had more time, with the character of this team, we probably get the goal back. With only a minute and a half, that’s tough. We almost did it though,” said Reid.
On the pitch UConn started the match extremely efficiently and had good chances to open the scoring in first the 20 minutes, but careless finishing cost them the opening goal.
During the remaining time in the first half Creighton found their feet and became more active in UConn’s defensive third, and play was more evenly split between the two teams.
“I thought we started really well. It was almost too easy. The first 20 minutes. I thought we missed a few we should have finished. We took our foot off the gas, that breathed a little life into them the rest of the half,” said Reid.
The second half was more of the same as UConn started well but failed to convert and Creighton slowly got more and more into the match, and just before the final whistle they found the game winner.
With just two minutes left, both coaches began planning for the two extra time periods, with Coach Reid adjusting his team to go 4-4-2 and Creighton Head Coach Elmar Bolowich adjusting his midfield to be more defensive.
But just as Coach Bolowich got his plans to assistant Coach Johnny Torres, Creighton midfielder Timo Petter broke down UConn’s right side sending in a cross past UConn right back Max Wasserman. The cross was over hit but Creighton’s Jose Gomez collected the ball on the left side on the six-yard box and fired in a cross back in the face of goal, where Creighton substitute forward Christian Blandon blasted it in off the crossbar and past an outstretched Andre Blake, giving Creighton the 1-0 lead.
With just 90 seconds left, UConn had no choice but to throw all bodies forward and, despite a few flashes of hope, never really earned a clear-cut chance in the frantic final moments.
With the loss UConn snapped a school record 38-match home unbeaten streak, third all time in NCAA history and left the seniors with an all time record of 59-13-14, outscoring teams 147-39 and winning the 2009 and 2012 BIG EAST Regular Season Championship.