Connecticut races by Monmouth
Diouf scores twice to help Huskies continue postseason run
STORRS, Conn. -- Connecticut, the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, earned a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against Monmouth Sunday at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in front of 3,979 fans.
With the win, UConn advances to host an NCAA third-round game on Nov. 27. The Huskies earned their second come-from-behind victory in four games after rallying from 1-0 down to beat Rutgers 3-1 in the Big East quarterfinals.
"I give our guys credit, they were resilient," UConn head coach Ray Reid said. "I think we were a little asleep at the start. They got the goal, but it woke us up. Coming off last Sunday's result, we knew if we could get this game under our belt, we could get some momentum going.
"Carlos [Alvarez] had a great match, Mama [Diouf] had two great goals and Stephane Diop was fantastic for us."
The Huskies fell behind in the 26th minute but rallied behind two goals from sophomore Mamadou Doudou Diouf to earn the 2-1 win. Diouf scored in the 39th minute on a header to make it 1-1 before giving UConn the victory with a penalty kick at 49:25. Diouf leads the team with 12 goals on the season.
Monmouth opened the scoring at 25:48 with a well-struck volley by Matt Jeffery. RJ Allen drove a free kick into the box from the left side and Kalle Sotka challenged in the air resulting in a bouncing ball to Jeffery 12 yards out. The Monmouth freshman calmly volleyed his shot into the bottom left corner for the 1-0 lead.
The Huskies found the equalizer with a corner kick at 39:00. Alvarez drove a ball in from the right side as Diouf rose up to head in his first of the day.
UConn finished the half with a 4-1 edge in shots and a 2-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Huskies took the lead at 49:25 with a penalty kick from Diouf. Alvarez sent a ball from the center circle between the two center backs to Diouf, streaking up the middle. Diouf went to fire the shot but was taken down in the box by Monmouth defender Anthony Vazquez, causing a penalty kick for UConn and a red card for Vazquez. It was Diouf's third goal of the season from the penalty spot.
With the extra man, the Huskies dominated possession the remaining 40 minutes. UConn generated seven shots and two corner kicks in a fifteen minute stretch following the go-ahead goal.
Jossimar Sanchez had two half-volleys from the top of the box sail wide of the net. Stephane Diop and Tony Cascio each ripped shots from within the box that went high.
Connecticut had a scare in the 84th minute when George Caiella took a perfect through ball from Joseph Schmid 20 yards from goal behind the UConn defense. Caiella's first touch took him away from goal and the Huskies rode out the rest of the game with the one-goal lead.
UConn finished the game with a commanding 16-3 edge in shots, based on a 12-2 difference in the second half.