Oct. 9, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's soccer team tallied two second half goals to down Iona on Tuesday night in Storrs in the final non-conference match of the season. Allando Matheson scored the game winner in the 52nd minute as UConn improved to 11-1-1. Iona dropped to 3-8-0 with the loss.
The Huskies finished non-conference play with an 8-0-1 record and extended its home unbeaten streak to 34 games, the seventh longest in NCAA history and one away from the UConn record set from 1980-1982.
Connecticut outshot Iona on the night, 19-5, including a 9-3 edge in shots on goal. Iona keeper Borja Barbero finished with seven saves. Andre Blake made three saves on the night to record his seventh shutout of the year and the team's eighth.
The Huskies dominated possession for much of the game but failed to capitalize in the first half.
"Once we get that first goal, we can relax and control the game," said Matheson. "We just have to finish and we'll control the rest. That's how we want to play."
Stephane Diop had chance from a tough angle six yards out in the seventh minute but fired over the bar and the charging keeper.
Connecticut's best chance of the first half came at 29:06 off the foot of senior captain Carlos Avarez. Alvarez looked to have a sure goal after a pass from Matheson inside the box but hit his one-time shot off the left post from eight yards out.
At the end of the first half, Connecticut held a 9-2 edge in shots, including a 3-1 advantage in shots on goal.
Connecticut kept steady possession 25-30 yards from net at the start of the second half, constantly searching for the deciding through ball.
Diouf had a chance from 16 yards out that was denied by an Iona defender at 49:20.
Matheson final capitalized with a header from the top of the six-yard box at 51:03. Stephane Diop found space along the left end-line inside the box and sent a crossing pass over to Matheson who headed home for his seventh goal of the season.
"I was running inside the box and just got up and wanted to get it on target," said Matheson. "Stephane's cross took a deflection and came right to me."
Diouf had two near-highlight reel goals in the 63rd and 64th minute. The junior forward took a square ball from Diop 10 yards out and had a shot saved by Barbero. Diouf got the rebound and faked several shots, waiting for the keeper to commit, only to have his eventual shot blocked by a defender.
In the 64th minute, Diouf attempted a scissor kick from 10 yards out that was hit well but went wide left.
The BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year found the net with a beautiful goal at 79:42. Diouf took a pass from Adria Beso over the top of the defense, drew the keeper off his line with the first touch and chipped his shot back post. It was Diouf's eighth goal of the season to lead the BIG EAST.
"It was a brilliant goal by a brilliant player," added Reid.
Connecticut is off until Wednesday, October 17 when it hosts Seton Hall at 7 p.m.