STALEMATE IN STORRS
Battle of the Huskies results in UConn’s first draw of the season
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 00:09
In a battle of the Huskies, the third-ranked UConn men’s soccer team earned a 0-0 draw in overtime against the University of Washington Tuesday night at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. With the draw, UConn is now 2-0-1 for the season.
Although neither team was able to get on the scoreboard, the defenses from both sides were well displayed. Coach Ray Reid said the team was “very good” defensively as it allowed only six shots the entire match. However, most of his praises after the match went to junior goalkeeper Andre Blake.
“You’re looking at the LeBron James of goalkeepers,” said Reid. “So enjoy this because there’s a pretty good chance we are not going to find another guy like him when he graduates or leaves.”
Blake registered only two saves in the match, but he also made several crucial plays unseen on the stat sheet as he prevented many of the visitors’ opportunities to shoot on goal. As a result, Blake posted his third consecutive shutout in as many games this season.
A physical match was played by both teams throughout, as four yellow cards were handed out in all, including one each to UConn’s Colin Bradley, Nicholas Zuniga and Allando Matheson.
“Washington, they are a very tough team to play against,” said junior defender Sergio Campbell. “They are very physical so we want be physical with them. We didn’t plan to give up anything.”
Campbell was one of the players who battled the hardest on the pitch Tuesday night when it came to making key defensive plays and fighting for positions.
As for UW, its defense was led by senior defender Taylor Peay. Peay came into the match as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s National Player of the Week after recording eight points on four goals in two games last week.
Offensively, UConn led UW in both shots and corner kicks 11-6 and 5-3, respectively. The hosting Huskies, however, were only able to get one shot on goal the entire match, as the team’s scoring opportunities were scarce.
Freshman midfielder Cyle Larin and senior forward Mamadou Doudou Diouf led the team with three shots each, but weren’t able to put the ball past UW goalkeeper Spencer Richey.
Richey was named as one of the 31 members—including UConn’s Blake—on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List before the season, and has conceded only two goals so far this year.
A scary moment came with a little less than seven minutes remaining in the match when Richey collided with Larin on a pass into the penalty box. Richey went down immediately and was unable to get up and ultimately had to be carted off the field with a lower leg injury.
As a result, Washington’s backup goalkeeper Ryan Herman played the remainder of the match.
With the draw, UConn moves to 3-2-1 all-time against UW. The two teams met last season in Storrs when the home team pulled out a 1-0 overtime victory thanks to a free-kick goal by then-senior Max Wasserman.
UConn will return to action this Saturday when they take on Bradley at 7 p.m. at Morrone Stadium.