Oct. 31, 2009

Courtesy of UConn

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Connecticut men's soccer team fell to Notre Dame 2-1 in overtime as the Irish scored in the 91st minute to take the BIG EAST victory on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.

Bright Dike scored the game-winning goal in the 91st minute as the Irish improve to 10-7-1 on the year and 8-3 in the BIG EAST, while UConn moves to 10-3-3 and 7-2-1 in the conference as the Huskies picked up their first loss in the past 10 games.

UConn controlled the possession of the ball for a majority of the first half after allowing the first two shots of the contest to Notre Dame.

Steven Perry had a good look for the Fighting Irish in the ninth minute as he headed a cross from the near side of the field but his attempt went over the crossbar. The first shot on goal of the afternoon came in the 16th minute as Perry's second header attempt of the match was grabbed by UConn goalkeeper Josh Ford in front of the net.

After a misplay inside of the 18-yard box, Jeb Brovsky was able to get a foot on the ball to send a shot towards net but Ford was there once again to make his second save of the contest.

Midway through the first half, Greg King stole the ball from an Irish midfielder and dribbled down field, passing off to Alan Ponce at the top of the 18-yard box. Ponce then turned and passed back to senior Mike Pezza, who drilled a shot from about 25 yards out to put the Huskies ahead 1-0 at the 25:05 mark. For Pezza, it was his second goal of the year.

Notre Dame answered two minutes later as Brendan King put his corner kick into the goal area where Bright Dike was able to get a shot off but Ford made a diving save to stop his chance before Michael Thomas got a foot on the rebound to score his sixth goal of the season to tie the game at one.

The Irish recorded their seventh shot of the game as Brovsky's second attempt of the day was grabbed by Ford, who made his fourth stop of the afternoon.

After heading into the half time break with the score knotted at one, Notre Dame came out recording a shot immediately as Dike lined an attempt at net but again, Ford made the stop. Dike ripped another shot at the top of the 18-yard box in the 52nd minute but his attempt went wide right.

UConn generated more scoring chances in the second half as UConn was able to advance the ball into the 18-yard box for Ponce, who freed himself from two defenders to take his first shot of the game, missing wide right of the target in the 63rd minute. Both sophomore Tony Cascio and senior Toni Stahl were able to get shots off as both were blocked by an Irish defender.

On a cross into the box by Justin Morrow, Ford was able to punch the ball out of the goal area before a shot by Notre Dame's Brendan King that found an opening by Ford but junior Robert Brickley made a great sliding save just outside of the net to keep the score tied.

In the 82nd minute, Cascio made a nice move in the box to get a shot off, but his attempt was blocked by an Irish defender. Cruz Hernandez also got into the mix, drilling a shot from 25 yards out as the Notre Dame goalkeeper, Philip Tuttle, made a diving save for his first of the game.

In the first overtime period, Notre Dame wasted no time and pushed the ball up field to Dike who found the back of the net to give the Irish the victory.

Ford made six saves in today's league game, including four in the first half.

UConn will return to Storrs, Conn. on Monday, Nov. 2 to face Marquette in the Huskies' final regular season game of the year. The contest was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28 but was postponed due to inclement weather and wet field conditions. UConn will also pay tribute to its four seniors priors to the Monday night match.