UConn men's soccer to face rival Notre Dame
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 21:09
The No. 2 UConn men’s soccer team hosts No. 8 Notre Dame in the highly-anticipated conference showdown Saturday night at 7 p.m.
With Notre Dame jumping ship and moving on to the ACC, this will be the last time long-time rival Irish comes to Storrs for a conference match. The last two meetings between Connecticut and Notre Dame have both been scoreless ties.
“We need the fans support. They can be so powerful for us and the players know it,” Assistant Coach Mike Mordocco said. “They are our 12th man.”
Students can get involved by becoming members of the Goal Patrol. The Goal Patrol meets at 6 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion. Prizes are given away to students who sign up.
“We are a loud and rowdy bunch of students out to support one of the top teams in the nation,” said Mike Keating, a Goal Patrol member. “We add a new dynamic to the game by helping our team and distracting the opposing team.”
Due to the magnitude of the matchup against Notre Dame, new chants and songs have been created. Explanatory flyers will also be handed out at the game.
After a 1-1 draw against Boston University on Sept. 9, UConn (8-0-1, 1-0-0 Big East) has played virtually flawlessly. The Huskies have won four consecutive games by a combined total of 13-0.
Sophomore goalkeeper Andre Blake leads the Big East and is second in the country with a 0.22 goals against average and a .909 save percentage.
This week, senior Carlos Alvarez earned Big East Offensive Player of the Week. He notched two goals and two assists in home wins over Boston College and St. John’s. He currently leads the Big East with five assists this season.
Forwards Mamadou Doudou Diouf and Allando Matheson have proved a lethal one-two punch on the attack. The duo has combined for 12 of Connecticut’s 19 goals and has shown no signs of slowing down. Diouf leads the league in points with 15. He averages nearly a goal a game and has four game-winning goals in 2012.
UConn has outscored opponents 19-2 and has registered 23 more corner kicks than opponents. The Irish have outscored its opponents 15-6.
The only common opponent UConn and Notre Dame have faced is Michigan State. The Huskies won in East Lansing 1-0 on Sept. 3. The Irish defeated the Spartans 2-0 at home on Sept. 14.
Notre Dame (8-1-0, 0-1-0 Big East) began the season with seven consecutive victories, then stumbled in their conference opener, a 2-1 loss at Louisville. The Irish bounced back on Sept. 26 by defeating Indiana 1-0.
The Irish offense is centered around senior Ryan Finley. The Duke-transfer leads the team with six goals and has an assist, all coming off the bench. Harrison Shipp and Dillon Powers each have two goals and three assists to complement Finley. Eight Notre Dame players have scored at least one goal.
Senior Will Walsh and junior Patrick Wall split time in net for the Irish, alternating each game. Wall has only allowed two goals and four games while Walsh has allowed four goals, including two in the loss to Louisville.