With the loss, the Huskies drop to 5-3-3 on the year and 3-3-0 in conference play. Providence improves to 4-4-3 and 2-4-1 in the BIG EAST.
The lone goal of the game came at 34:58 as Ryan Maduro crossed the ball from the far side of the field into the box where Matt Marcin knocked it into the corner of the net at the near post, marking his second goal of the season.
The Huskies started the game with solid play as O’Brian White (Scarborough, Ont.) broke two defenders in the 15th minute to make a clean pass to Akeem Priestley (Kingstown, Jamaica) before a Providence defender intercepted Priestley’s cross into the box. UConn continued to attack the Friar defense as Shawn Nicklaw (San Diego, Calif.) drilled the ball into the Friar backfield that was deflected off a defender and into the hands of Providence goalkeeper, Tim Murray.
Pezza’s free kick after a Friar foul almost posted trouble for Providence as the ball was hit off of a defender and sent towards the net, but a leaping Murray was able to get his gloves on the ball to stop a chance at a Connecticut score.
Matt Marcin’s goal at 34:58 put Providence on the board as Ryan Maduro crossed the ball from the far side of the field then was knocked into the back of the net by Marcin, the potential game-winning connection.
White’s header off a corner by Pezza with three minutes to go in the first half missed the net just wide as a Friar defender deflected the ball out of bounds for another UConn corner. With UConn’s second consecutive chance, Murray was able to get a hand on it, sending the ball to the opposite side of the field.
A hand ball by a Providence defender gave UConn a free kick three yards out of the 18-yard box but the kick by Pezza missed high of the net. The Huskies again challenged Murray in goal as Nicklaw connected with Priestley at midfield but Priestley’s shot went wide left from the far post.
The Friar’s Andrew Sousa had a chance to put Providence up by two but his header off a Tim Ritter pass was caught by a jumping Josh Ford (Liverpool, N.Y.) in goal. The Huskies took over control of the game in the second half, playing aggressive on both sides of the field. Pezza took his first shot of the game, drilling a ball into the box before it was blocked by a Friar defender
Maduro took his first shot of the game, sending the ball into the 18-yard box, as the ball deflected off a UConn defender and landed in front of Ritter right in front of the net. Ritter’s one-timer missed wide left of the near post as he tried to break away from three blue jerseys. In the 69th minute, Friar’s John Raley received a pass from midfield and fired a shot at the net but his scoring chances were halted by a diving Ford.
UConn continued to pressure the Friar defense but four consecutive clears by Providence in the last minute of the game left the final score at 1-0 in the Friars favor.
Ford finished the game with two saves in 90 minutes played, improving his save tally on the year to 40.
The Huskies will return to action as they travel to Washington, D.C. this weekend for a Saturday night match-up with Georgetown. The BIG EAST contest is set for a noon start time.
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