Men's Soccer Battles Yale to a 0-0 Final in Double Overtime
STORRS, Conn. (October 22, 2008) – The No. 15/17 University of Connecticut men’s soccer team battled Yale University (5-6-2) to a 0-0 double overtime tie in non-conference action on Wednesday night at Morrone Stadium.
Tonight's game, the Huskies last non-league contest of the season, featured a solid attack and aggressive play both offensively and defensively from the UConn program, now 7-3-5 on the year. The tie also marked just the fourth time UConn has ever tied the Bulldogs in their 32-game history.
The Huskies controlled the tempo and speed throughout the entire match, outshooting the Bulldogs on the night. Senior Dori Arad (Hahotrim, Israel) recorded the first shot of the game as he was blocked by a Yale defender in the eighth minute. Freshman Andrew McKie (Sydney, Australia) earned his first start for the Huskies as he recorded three shots, including a header in the 16th minute which went towards the goal but was punched away by Yale goalkeeper, Travis Chulick.
Junior Mike Pezza (Jackson, N.J.), who leads the Huskies this season with six assists, had a great look from the top of the box 21:48 into the game but a jumping Chulick was able to knock the ball over the cross ball and out of play. Later in the first half, freshman and BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, Tony Cascio (Gilbert, Ariz.) broke through the Yale defense and went up the middle of the field before passing the ball to McKie on his left. McKie fired a shot towards the net but a diving Chulick was able to get his gloves on it for his third save of the game.
Yale had a good look at the net in the second half on a free kick as Alex Guzinski took a shot in the 55th minute but it was saved at the far post by UConn goalkeeper, Josh Ford (Liverpool, N.Y.), who recorded his ninth shutout of the season following tonight's tie.
A leaping header in front of the net by Cascio off a corner by Pezza at 54:52 barely missed the goal as Chulick made the save. After a foul was called on Yale, the Huskies had another good look at the net as sophomore Shawn Nicklaw (San Diego, Calif.) drilled a shot at the net five yards from the box on a pass from Pezza. Nicklaw's lone shot of the game was saved by Chulick.
Sophomore Greg King (Queensland, Australia) was able to find McKie with a cross from the far side of the field but McKie's header missed wide of the target. Cascio continued his aggressive play from last week as he just missed a chance to put the Huskies up by one as his shot in the 68th minute missed wide of the near post. His shot three minutes later from the 18-yard box was tipped out of bounds by a Yale defender, slightly missing the near post once again.
Arad had a shot in the second overtime period but a header by Cascio was sent into the box to Arad then blocked on Arad's own header and sent over the net for a UConn corner. The Huskies outshot the Bulldogs 5-1 in the overtime periods as a few shots in traffic by the UConn offense with seconds to go on the clock were blocked and cleared out of the box.
Ford finished the game with two saves while picking up his eighth shutout of the season. With the tie, Ford's goals allowed average improves to 0.49 while his save percentage moves to .879 with his 7-3-5 overall record.
The Huskies will take on BIG EAST Conference opponent Notre Dame on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Morrone Stadium. The game is sold out to the general public but 200 tickets remain for UConn students at a first come-first served basis starting at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Morrone Stadium ticket windows. Students must bring a valid UConn Student I.D. to receive a ticket.
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