Nov. 9, 2012
CHESTER, Pa. -The University of Connecticut men's soccer team fell in the BIG EAST Semifinals, 1-0, to Notre Dame on Friday night at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. With the loss, UConn drops to 15-3-1 and will await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at 5:30 p.m. to determine the NCAA seed.
Fans can watch the selection online HERE
"We started off OK and had a stretch of 15-20 minutes where we weren't very good," said head coach Ray Reid. "I thought the second half was better, but we didn't come down here to play one half."
"I think you have three of the five best teams in the country in the league right now," added Reid. "I think that will show when the bracket is announced Monday. That was a Final Four type game really."
Notre Dame, ranked No. 7 in the latest NSCAA poll and No. 1 in the RPI, advanced on a goal from Dillon Powers at 10:09 of the first half. Notre Dame will face Georgetown in the BIG EAST Championship on Sunday at Noon. Georgetown advanced with a goal in the 110th minute over Marquette, 2-1.
The Huskies, No. 6 in the NSCAA rankings, earned their 12th BIG EAST Regular Season Championship and the No. 1 overall seed in the Blue Division. Notre Dame finished third in the BIG EAST Blue Division.
Notre Dame scored first with a perfectly placed shot from Dillon Powers into the left side at 10:09. Alex Priede sent a pass from the right side on the end line into the middle of the box for Powers to set up the goal. It marked just the fourth time all season that UConn failed to notch the game's opening goal.
Connecticut almost equalized on a miscue by the Notre Dame defense in the 45th minute. The Huskies sent a long ball over the top from the midfield. Confusion between the ND keeper and center back allowed freshman Nicholas Zunigato slip between the two Irish players and head on frame. His attempt was saved and the half ended with Notre Dame ahead, 1-0.
Notre Dame held a 7-2 edge in shots at halftime.
The Huskies were dangerous in the second half from the opening whistle. Diouf had a shot from 25 yards out in the 50th minute that whistled wide right. Alvarez drove a corner in from the left side in the 55th minute that was headed wide by Stephane Diop.
Diouf had another blast that went wide left from the right side of the box in the 57th minute.
Connecticut continued to press in the second half but failed to capitalize. Diouf had a firm header that went just wide of the right post in the 75th minute off a cross from Max Wassermanon the right flank.
The Huskies had two chances in the final two minutes with a free kick from 40 yards out deflected over the end line. The resulting corner was cleared away from danger as time expired.