Oct. 19, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's soccer team scored two second half goals en route to a 2-2 draw with No. 7 Louisville on Saturday night at Cardinal Park in Louisville, Ky. With the draw, the Huskies move to 6-2-5 (2-0-4 The American) and extend their unbeaten streak to eight matches, while the Cardinals shift to 9-2-2 (4-0-1 The American.)
After trading possession back-and-forth in the midfield, Louisville opened up in the scoring at the 30:44 mark, when forward Zack Foxhoven grabbed his first goal of 2013, sending a bouncing shot to the far post from just outside the box that slipped past the dive of goalkeeper Andre Blake.
The Huskies evened things up just 1:17 into the second half when Nicholas Zuniga sent a cross to junior transfer Edir DaGraca, who one-timed a shot with his left foot into the left corner of the net for his second goal this season. Zuniga earned his second assist of 2013, helping to bring the match to 1-1.
Louisville answered the Connecticut goal in the 65th minute when Ivan Gutierrez netted his second goal of 2013, finishing with a blistering shot off his left foot that found its way into the top left of the net from just inside the box.
The Huskies responded again at 80:03 when Larin scored his team-leading sixth goal of the year from the middle of the box off a great through-ball played from Adria Beso. The Huskies entered the match with six second half goals in 2013, but were able to grab two against the Cardinals, who had allowed just one second half goal through their first 12 matches.
Freshman defender Jakob Nerwinski created two quality opportunities for the Huskies in the opening 45 minutes, twice taking the ball from the right wing along the end line and sending in a cross towards fellow freshman Cyle Larin. Nerwinski's first cross at 20:30 was cleared out by a Cardinals center back, while his second found Larin, who fired high above the crossbar.
The lone shot-on-goal for Connecticut in the first half came off the right foot of Nicholas Zuniga in the 12th
minute from 22 yards out. The sophomore's shot was sent to the bottom right corner of the net but keeper Joachim Ball was able to fall on it, thwarting the chance.
Following DaGraca's score, the Huskies maintained possession in Louisville's defensive third, coming close to taking a lead when Beso lifted a shot from the 18 yard line that dropped right over the crossbar and away from trouble. Three minutes later, Beso played a through ball to DaGraca who beat the Cardinals defense but was unable to collect the pass before Ball slid in to grab the loose ball.
The Huskies nearly grabbed a lead in the 88th minute when Allando Matheson raced after a loose ball at the penalty spot and collided with the charging keeper who was able to get a left hand on the ball and send it out to the right side of the box where the defender was able to track it down.
In the first overtime, UConn looked to have a golden goal at 97:10 when Allando Matheson played a ball to Larin who beat Ball, who was off the line, leaving an open net but the forward slipped and eventually sent a late shot that was saved and cleared out by a Louisville center back.
The best chance of the second sudden-victory overtime came midway through when Nerwinski took a corner kick and placed a great ball to Larin whose header went just wide of the post.
After 110 minutes, the Huskies outshot the Cardinals 16-13, putting nine on goal. Blake made a season-high six saves and moves to 4-2-5 in 2013.
"To come in here where it's always tough and play like that I'm really happy with the guys," said head coach Ray Reid. "I thought we were dangerous. I thought we did a really good job."
The Huskies return to the pitch on Tuesday, October 22nd when they take on Yale in New Haven, Conn. in the final non-conference match of the season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.