Men’s soccer improves to 3-0 after a pair of wins
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 01:09
It took overtime for the No. 5 UConn men’s soccer team to defeat Dartmouth 2-1 on Friday.
Five minutes into the extra period, sophomore Allando Matheson squeaked a pass through a pair of Dartmouth defenders to junior Mamadou Doudou Diouf, who lined up and drilled a shot into the bottom right corner of the net. In celebration, Diouf jumped into the stands and was swarmed by teammates and fans.
The win over Dartmouth, last year’s Ivy League co-champion, extends Connecticut’s home-unbeaten streak to 27 games.
Neither team could get on the board in the first half, but the Huskies clearly dominated, outshooting the Big Green 10-2 in the first 45 minutes and 16-9 for the game.
UConn nearly broke the scoreless tie in the 22nd minute when newcomer Adria Beso floated a pass from the corner to a diving Diouf, whose attempt was off-target. But the rebound went straight to senior Carlos Alvarez, who quickly fired another shot that was saved by Dartmouth goalkeeper Noah Cohen.
In the 41st minute, Beso pinpointed a pass to Alvarez, cutting toward the left goalpost. His one-timer shot went just wide of the target.
Ten minutes into the second half, senior Max Wasserman’s free kick from the corner found Matheson’s head and then the back of the net, giving the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Matheson notched a goal and an assist in 69 minutes off the bench.
“I was just working to get on the end of it because we all know we play better once we get that first goal,” Matheson said.
Several Dartmouth attempts were squandered and the UConn team and fans prematurely chalked up another win. But as the final seconds of regulation ticked off the clock, Dartmouth’s Colin Heffron streaked down the field and found Brad Jacobson on a cross. Jacobson netted home the equalizer with just six seconds remaining.
“I think we thought we had the game finished,” Wasserman said. “We broke down and the guy got the cross off with six seconds left. That can’t happen.”
Head coach Ray Reid said the team does need to work on finishing, but that it will take time and experience.
“It’s like a Hail Mary in football where all you have to do is smack it down. We did not handle that situation well,” Reid said. “In overtime, this group showed a lot of resiliency and that they have some fight in them.”
Since 1997, UConn is an incredible 156-27-15 at home under Reid, and the current senior class has lost just twice in Storrs.
On Monday, UConn traveled to Michigan State and won 1-0 in their first road game of the year. Matheson was the hero again as he scored the game’s only goal in the 51st minute after a rebound from a Spartan defender.
Seniors Jossimar Sanchez, Wasserman and Alvarez all received yellow cards over the final 22 minutes. Goalkeeper Andre Blake made all five saves and recorded his 17th career shutout.
With the pair of wins, the Huskies improve to 3-0-0 on the season.
On Friday, the Connecticut Huskies host the Washington Huskies at 7 P.M. The game will be shown nationally on Fox Soccer Channel. In 2010, Fox Soccer Channel came to Storrs as UConn battled Notre Dame to a scoreless tie.