UConn Men's Soccer defeats St. Francis 1-0
Men's Soccer wins home opener against Terriers
Published: Sunday, August 26, 2012
Updated: Sunday, August 26, 2012 23:08
Junior Mamadou Diouf’s goal off of a penalty kick in the 36th minute was the difference between victory and defeat as the No, 4 UConn men’s soccer team won their game against St. Francis (NY) 1-0 in the season opener.
Moments earlier, senior Stephane Diop was tackled in the penalty box by two of St. Francis defenders. The Huskies’ leading scorer from last season lined up and drilled a ball into the right side of the net past the Terrier’s goalkeeper.
“I just needed to have my composure and I knew I was going to put it in the net,” Diouf said.
Connecticut outshot St. Francis 16-3 for the game. Diouf had four of UConn’s seven shots on goal. Defenseman Max Wasserman and midfielder Adria Beso set up Diouf throughout the first half but could not connect for a goal.
“We need to do a better job finishing and on defense,” Diouf said. “But we got what we were looking for, a win. It was not easy, we needed to fight.”
The game was physical as both teams combined for 26 fouls and the Terrier’s Kevin Correa and Andy Cormack earned yellow cards in the opening 13 minutes of the first half.
The Huskies came close to scoring in the 19th minute when junior, transfer student George Fochive found Diouf cutting toward the net just inside the 18-yard box but the shot sailed just over the crossbar.
Shortly after, Beso found Diouf, who slipped behind the defense on a breakaway, but his shot was off target.
Connecticut had another chance in the 32nd minute when Diop found a surrounded Allando Matheson in front of the net but his rushed shot went wide of the left goalpost.
Reigning Big East Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake made the one save as the UConn defense limited St. Francis to only three shots. The sophomore recorded his first shutout of the season after recording 15 shutouts in 2011.
“I think we were pretty good for part of the first half and the first 20 of the second half,” head coach Ray Reid said. “I didn’t like how we took our foot off the gas.”
Reid has been fine-tuning the right formation with the arrival of the midfielder Beso, the sophomore speedster is entering his first regular season after playing for Villarreal youth team of the Spanish La Liga, the top professional league in Spain.
“I think he’s played really well. We will see what happens when we play physical teams like Notre Dame and St. John’s,” Reid said. “Once Alvarez gets going I think those two will be pretty good together.”
The Huskies continue their non-conference schedule on Friday at home against Dartmouth at 7 p.m.