Oct. 15, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The No. 1 UConn men's soccer team dominated possession and came away with a 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh tonight at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in front of 4,995 fans. Freshman Allando Matheson scored the game winner and classmate Andre Blake made two saves in net. The Huskies improved to 13-0-1 (4-0-1 BIG EAST) while Pitt dropped to 4-9-1 (2-3-0 BIG EAST).
The Huskies possessed the ball throughout the opening 45 minutes but squandered several chances to go ahead. Pittsburgh goal keeper Lee Johnston was exceptional in net, making six saves on the night.
"We're No. 1 right now, but we are still hunting teams. We have nothing to show for what we've done so far. We need to win still. We need to keep this up and win in the postseason," said the goal scorer Allando Matheson.
Tony Cascio drew a foul in the 10th minute. The ensuing free kick from Max Wasserman was bent into the box, but Mamadou Doudou Diouf failed to get over the ball and headed well over the bar.
Allando Matheson had an excellent opportunity denied by Johnston in the 19th minute. Diouf placed a perfectly weighted through ball in between the center backs into space for Matheson. The freshman forward attempted to dribble around Johnston, only to have the Pitt keeper get a hand on the ball at the last moment.
Blake made the save of the half in the 37th minute off the foot of Pittsburgh substitute Ryan McKenzie. McKenzie took a bouncing ball from 20 yards out and fired a low shot headed towards the right side. Blake read it cleanly and dropped down to parry the ball away from danger.
Johnston came up huge in the 45th minute. Sophomore back Andrew Jean-Baptiste
took the bal l from midfield to the top of the box, dribbled a Pitt defender, and smashed a shot that was curling towards the bottom right corner. Johnson dove to his left at the last second to push the ball out for a corner kick.
The Huskies held a 9-5 edge in shots but only placed one on net in the opening 45 minutes.
Baptiste was stoned again by Johnston on back-to-back shots from within 12 yards in the 50th minute. After a corner from Wasserman on the left side, the ball eventually found its way to Baptiste on the right side of the box. His initial shot was parried by Johnston. The rebound came straight back to Baptiste. His one-time blast was denied with a reflex save from the Pitt keeper.
Matheson finally broke the deadlock with his third goal of the season in the 61st minute. After a scramble a yard off the goal line, Matheson was able to stretch to poke home the loose ball and give the Huskies the lead. All-three of Matheson's goals this season have turned out to be game-winning tallies.
The Huskies road out the remaining 30 minutes of regulation by keeping possession through the midfield. Center midfielders Jossimar Sanchez and Colin Bradley routinely connected passes with outside wingers Stephane Diop and Tony Cascio in the offensive third.
The Huskies recorded their 11th shutout of the season and have been scored on just three times in 14 games.
UConn will be in action next at West Virginia on Tuesday, October 18. That game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. in Morgantown. UConn will host Georgetown on Saturday, October 23 at 7:30 at Morrone Stadium. The UConn soccer program will honor the three members of the senior class that night; Nickardo Blake, Lionel Brown and Tony Cascio.