SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Taking on the No. 1 team in the nation on the road, the UConn men’s soccer team forced a pair of overtime periods before falling, 1-0, in 103 minutes to Notre Dame on Tuesday at Alumni Stadium. With the setback, Connecticut moves to 3-3-0 in 2016, while the Fighting Irish improve to 6-0-0.
Tuesday’s match marked the first time UConn and Notre Dame had met on the pitch since the 2012 season as members of the former Big East conference.
Jon Gallagher gave the Irish the victory at 102:14, beating the Husky defense up the right flank before depositing his fifth goal of the season into the net on the near post.
Redshirt-junior Scott Levene (Stamford, Conn.) made four second-half saves for the Huskies, while his counterpart Chris Hubbard grabbed his sixth victory of the season with a one-save effort.
In the sixth minute, Jake Nerwinski (Lawrenceville, N.J.) faked out a defender on the right blank before pushing a left-footed 20-yard attempt wide left of the cage. With 25 minutes gone by, Nerwinski laid a pass off to Kwame Awuah (Toronto, Ont.) in the box before the tri-captain fired a shot that was saved by Hubbard.
In the 37th minute, Nick Zuniga (Norwalk, Conn.) took a pass from Nerwinski and found freshman Niko Petridis (Norwalk, Conn.) at the top of the box but the rookie’s 18-yard attempt was blocked by the centerback.
The Huskies had a look in the 61st minute when they earned a corner kick but Sebastian Brems’ (Odense, Denmark) inswinging attempt was knocked away by the Irish backline. Levene picked up back-to-back saves in the 72nd minute, coming off his line to knock away a through-ball in the box.
Five minutes into the first overtime period, Brems picked off a pass in the midfield and charged into the box, attempting a cross that was blocked away by the Fighting Irish defense. Alex Sanchez (Corona, Calif.) had the team’s best look in the period, blasting a shot from 24-yards out that slipped wide right of the near post.
Both teams posted six shots apiece in a scoreless first half. In the 103-minute match, the Irish held an 18-to-8 shot advantage.
The Huskies return to Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17 when they play host to Loyola (Md.) at 7 p.m. A complete match preview will be available on uconnhuskies.com on Thursday.
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