No. 18/24 Huskies Battle No. 6/9 Dartmouth to 0-0 Double-Overtime Tie
Sept. 11, 2009
HANOVER, N.H. - Redshirt junior Josh Ford made a season-high seven saves for his second shutout of the season as the No. 18/24 University of Connecticut men's soccer team battled No. 6/9 Dartmouth to a 0-0 double-overtime in game one of the NIKE Hypertherm Classic at Burnham Field in Hanover, N.H. on a rainy Friday night.
With the tie, the Huskies even their record to 1-1-1 overall on the year, while Dartmouth moves to 2-0-1. The Big Green outshot the Huskies 17-7 on the night. A steady down pour of rain continued throughout the first half of tonight's contest as the weather made for slippery conditions on the playing field, as the Big Green outshot the Huskies 4-3 in the first frame.
The first shot of the game came in the fourth minute as Dartmouth's Luckymore Mkosana connected on a shot from the top of the box but his attempt went right into the hands of UConn goalkeeper, Josh Ford.
A free kick by the Big Green three minutes later from 45-yards out was grabbed by a leaping Ford over the head of a Dartmouth forward, giving the Huskies control of the ball.
Dartmouth stole procession minutes later as Mkosana grabbed a Husky pass and broke away down the right side of the field. His cross into the box was cleared out of bounds by UConn's Jossimar Sanchez before the Big Green was able to attempt a shot on net.
On the Dartmouth corner, the ball ended up at the foot of the Big Green's junior Daniel Keat as his shot from right in front of the net missed high of the target. In the 22nd minute, Dartmouth's direct kick by Mkosana bounced off the chest of Ford before he was able to pick it up for his third save of the night. UConn's Mike Pezza took UConn's first shot of the game during the 28th minute from about 25-yards out but his shot was deflected off of a diving Sean Donovan in net resulting in a corner for the Huskies. The corner kick from Pezza found junior transfer Thomas Wharf, who fired a shot off the chest of Donovan and out of bounds.
DIOP found Greg King with a backwards pass about 15-yards out but the junior's shot in the 36th minute was blocked by a Dartmouth defender. With just 10 minutes left in the first half, Carlos Alvarez's shot missed wide right as it was his fourth shot of the season with the Huskies.
A corner with two minutes left in the half for the Big Green was headed by Henderson just wide of the near post to keep the game scoreless heading into the halftime break.
After an aggressive 45 minutes of play by both teams, the Big Green began the second half by earning a direct kick from just outside the box in the 48th minute but the kick by Andrew Olsen was blocked by the UConn wall and sent into the midfield.
Senior Kwame Watson-Siriboe headlined the defense in the second half for the Huskies, helping keep the ball out of the goal box, as he made some key clears earlier on in the final half of regulation.
Austin Bowers drilled a shot in the 57th minute that was blocked by senior Toni Stahl just out of the goal box in front of Ford.
On Dartmouth's fourth corner kick of the night, Craig Henderson was able to get up in the air to head the ball towards the net but Ford was able to get his hands on it for his fourth save.
UConn's first shot of the second frame came in the 65th minute as Stahl's shot from 20-yards out missed wide left. Another opportunity for the Huskies came off a free kick from Pezza from about 40-yards out as Watson-Siriboe's header missed wide.
Pezza, with just under 15 minutes to go in the contest, hit the top crossbar from about 25-yards out as it was the Huskies best scoring opportunity of the half.
Ford made an outstanding save with 4:30 left in regulation as he was able to punch the ball over the crossbar on a Mkosana shot from just outside the box, halting Dartmouth's best chance to score in the second half. With the save, the game remained scoreless and was forced into overtime.
Play was spread out throughout the two overtime periods, resulting in no goals for either team during the two 10-minute extras. With 5:30 left in the second overtime, a shot by a Dartmouth forward from a foot outside the box was just out of the reach of Ford but headed away from the net by King.
Nicklaw followed with another great defensive effort as Henderson came down the middle of the field and got a shot off which was blocked by the junior defender. Dartmouth had its chances in the final minutes of the contest but the UConn defense remained solid during those Big Green opportunities to force a 0-0 tie.
UConn will play in its second game of the NIKE Hypertherm Classic on Sunday, Sept. 13 at noon against Iona College. The Gaels (3-1-0) fell to Rhode Island (2-1-0) by a score 2-0 in the first game of the night on Friday before the UConn-Dartmouth contest.