STORRS, Conn. - For the third time in two seasons, UConn senior defender Max Wasserman (Farmington, Conn.) scored the game-winning goal with a free kick from the top of the box as No. 4/1 Connecticut defeated No. 21/25 Washington in overtime, 1-0, in front of 4,902 fans at Morrone Stadium live on Fox Soccer Channel.
UConn improved to 4-0 on the year while Washington dropped to 3-1-1.
Wasserman took advantage of the free kick from 20 yards out at 91:17 when senior captain Carlos Alvarez was taken down after beating the last three defenders, drawing a red card for the Washington center back.
"They set the wall up and I was looking at the ball and saw the front post was open," said Wasserman. "I told Carlos I wanted it. It went right where I wanted it to go. It felt great."
Wasserman knocked home game-winning free kicks against Michigan State and SMU as a junior in 2011.
Alvarez, a 2011 Second Team All-American, created the opportunity with a rare counter attack from the Connecticut midfielder. Alvarez found a ball at midfield and decided to take on the last three Washington defenders on the run.
"I saw there were three guys and I thought I could take them," said Alvarez. "We work on that in practice sometimes, two-on-three, one-on-three. I went right at `em and they took me down. We were trying to be aggressive and it worked."
UConn finished with a 17-8 advantage in shots and a 10-5 edge in corner kicks.
Washington had the early chances, primarily off a very dangerous flip-throw from midfielder Michael Harris who routinely reached the net from midfield. The UConn back line of Jossimar Sanchez, Sergio Campbell, Michael Mercado and Wasserman was on form, clearing away several opportunities in the opening minutes.
Following the early pressure from Washington, Connecticut maintained possession throughout the next 30 minutes with a shot from George Fochive high at 19:03 and a header by Allando Matheson blocked by the Washington defense minutes later.
Fochive had the best chance of the half for either team in the 39th minute with a shot from just outside the box saved by Washington keeper Spencer Richey.
Max Wasserman had a free kick in the 43rd minute that went under the wall from 25 yards out but was blocked by a UW defender. The Huskies had two corners in the final minute with Michael Mercado having a shot saved from the left side of the six-yard box.
Connecticut ended the half ahead on shots, 9-1.
The first 20 minutes of the second half saw the physicality pick up, with Washington's Ian Lange picking up a yellow card in the 59th minute. Washington would finish with 13 fouls to UConn's seven.
Washington had its best chance of the game in the 66th minute. Off a corner from the right side, Lange kneed a bouncing ball towards goal from inside the six-yard box that forced a diving save from Blake, his best of the night.
Connecticut will host Boston University on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Morrone Stadium.
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