No. 1 Men's Soccer heads south to Louisville
Published: Friday, September 30, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011 11:09
Coming off of a 1-0 win against Yale Tuesday night, a win that took 109 minutes to earn, the Huskies travel south this weekend to take on their toughest challenge to date.
Saturday night, UConn will put its perfect, 9-0 record on the line against its conference foe, the Louisville Cardinals on the road in a match-up of Top-10 teams.
The Cardinals enter the game with a 6-2 record on the season. Their only two losses have come on the road in Chapel Hill, N.C. against UNC and South Bend, Ind. against Notre Dame. Both teams are currently ranked in the Top-11 and the Cardinals lost both games by a combined two goals.
"Well, Louisville is good," coach Ray Reid said after Tuesday night's win. "That's who we're worried about now and that's just another challenge for us."
But regardless of the opponent, UConn takes each game with the same approach; one of discipline in practice and focus on what the team needs to do to come away with a win.
"We just need to treat our next game like it's any other one," junior Max Wasserman said Tuesday night. "We just need to stay focused in practice this week... 10-0 is a lot better for us than 9-0 is though."
For the Huskies, Tuesday night's win was the sixth game the team had played–and won–in 16 days and fatigue was starting to become a factor against the Bulldogs. Reid described the players as being "beaten up."
"I had suffered a toe injury earlier in the week and sat out the first half," Wasserman said. "But I told coach that if he needed me to play, then I'd go in...[The toe] feels fine and I'll be ready to go against Louisville."
"I give these guys credit though, it took 109 minutes, but they did it," Reid said. "We've played a grueling schedule. I think they were fatigued [Tuesday night.] This is a tough sport."
Historically, extra time matches have not been kind to the Huskies. Grinding through tough games is important.
"We never won a game in extra-time last year," junior forward Stephane Diop said Tuesday. "This was a really important win, we have no easy games."
Reid knows that tough wins like Tuesday's and exhausting stretches are what not only makes squads better, but makes them more prepared for other challenges.
"Moving forward with the rest of our schedule, nights like [Tuesday night] give us confidence," Reid said. w