Oct. 27, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - For the 12th time overall and the first since 2009, the UConn men's soccer team has been crowned BIG EAST Regular Season Champions behind a 2-0 victory over Providence College in front of 5,100 fans at Morrone Stadium. Preseason All-Americans Carlos Alvarez and Mamadou Doudou Diouf scored to lead the Huskies. With the victory, UConn improves to 14-2-1 (6-2-0 BIG EAST).
The Huskies are co-BIG EAST Champions as Georgetown has also finished 6-2 in the league.
UConn has earned the No. 1 overall seed and will host the winner of No. 5 Blue Seton Hall at No. 4 Red Villanova on Saturday, November 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at UConnHuskies.com
"This is a great win for the guys, for the program and for the school," said UConn Head Coach Ray Reid. "The guys came out focused and did a great job. They were very focused all day, they rose to the challenge and really earned this today."
Alvarez scored the game-winning goal on a rebound of a missed penalty kick in the 26th minute and Diouf added an insurance tally in the 57th.
"It's another piece to the puzzle," said Alvarez. "This was step one on our goal sheet for the season. We have two more to go (BIG EAST Tournament, NCAA Tournament). This feels great, but we want the big one. After feeling like we could have won everything a year ago and before, it's great to win this."
UConn avenged a 1-0 loss to Providence on Wednesday in Providence that would have ensured a share of the BIG EAST Title. UConn outshot PC, 10-7. Andre Blake earned the shutout without making a save. PC keeper Keasel Broome stopped four shots.
The loss ends the season for Providence at 4-10-2 (2-6-0 BIG EAST).
Colin Bradley (West Hartford, Conn.) had the game's first chance in the fifth minute with a shot from 18 yards out that went over the bar.
Freshman Nicholas Zuniga (Norwalk, Conn.) earned his first start of the season and nearly put Connecticut ahead with a header at 10:11. Zuniga connected on a Max Wasserman corner from eight yards out that beat Broome. It would have been 1-0 but PC defender Brandon Adler saved the ball off the line at the left post.
Providence had shots in the 15th and 19th minutes that went wide and finished the half with four attempts.
Alvarez made it 1-0 at 25:10 with a rebound off his own missed penalty kick. Alvarez was taken down on the left side of the box to earn the attempt. Broome denied the initial attempt but Alvarez blasted the rebound just under the bar. It was his seventh goal of the season.
Connecticut ended the half ahead on the scoreboard, 1-0, with a 7-4 edge in shots and a 4-0 edge in corner kicks.
The Friars picked up the pressure in the second half and had the better of play for the opening 10 minutes with Brandon Adler putting a header wide on a corner kick at 49:30.
Mamadou Doudou Diouf gave UConn a two-goal lead at 56:32 with his 12th goal of the season. Colin Bradley played a ball from five yards outside the box to Sean Weir on the left side of the 18. Weir slid a pass to Diouf at the penalty spot who calmly finished into the left-side netting. The assists were the first and third of the season for Weir and Bradley, respectively.
The two teams exchange possession throughout the remaining 33 minutes. The Friars continually sent in crosses only to be snatched by Blake and sent back down field.
- UConn improves its unbeaten streak at home to 35 games to tie the UConn record set from 1980-1982. That mark is the seventh longest in NCAA history. - Connecticut now has 19 BIG EAST Titles (12 Regular Season, 7 Tournament). - The eight seniors honored prior to the match have a four-year record of 56-11-14 and have outscored their opposition 143-36. - The seniors finished with a 24-7-6 record in BIG EAST action.