Men's Soccer Ready for Season Opener Against St. Peter's

Sept. 1, 2009

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

STORRS, Conn. - The No. 12/13 University of Connecticut men's soccer team will open its 2009 season against the St. Peter's College Peacocks at Morrone Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 2. The first 100 fans at the contest will receive a free UConn keychain. In addition, UConn students can get their free ticket to the game by visiting the UConn Ticket Office on Wednesday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. with a valid student ID.

The Huskies battled Hartwick College to a 0-0 tie on Saturday, Aug. 22 in front of a crowd of 1,013 fans at Morrone Stadium in UConn's only exhibition match during the preseason. Matt Sangeloty made two saves in net for the Huskies, playing almost 77 minutes before Tim Gebhardt took over. Gebhardt made one save. Junior Alan Ponce recorded three shots on the night, while teammates Stephane DIOP and Tony Cascio each had a shot on goal for the Huskies.

Due to the inclement weather that hit the state over the weekend, the Huskies' contest against Massachusetts was cancelled.

UConn looks forward to another promising season in 2009 after advancing to the NCAA Final 16 last fall. The Huskies are poised to reach their 12th consecutive and 30th NCAA appearance overall. Leading the way for the Huskies this season are captains Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Josh Ford.

The Huskies are ranked No. 15 in the Soccer Times Preseason Poll to begin the 2009 season. The NSCAA/adidas Preseason Poll has the Huskies at No. 12, while College Soccer News has UConn beginning the season ranked No. 20. Soccer America, whose poll came out last week, ranks the Huskies as the 13th team in the nation.

The Huskies are 6-0-1 against St. Peter's dating back to their first match-up in 1997, which was also UConn head coach Ray Reid's first season with the Huskies. In the teams' last regular season meeting on Aug. 29, 2008, UConn shutout the Peacocks 4-0 in Morrone Stadium.

The Huskies are 34-39-5 in season openers. (There were no teams during the 1943-45 seasons)

The Huskies are 46-25-4 in home openers. (There were no teams during the 1943-45 seasons and the 1941 and 1942 seasons are not available)

Last season St. Peter's finished with a record of 9-8-2 and averaged 1.53 goals per game on an average of 14.7 shots per game. The Peacocks were led by Udi Naim, who enters his senior season in 2009 with the program. Naim played in all 19 games for the Peacocks last season, scoring 10 goals and recorded four assists for a team-best 24 points. Head coach Guy Abrahamson enters his third season with St. Peter's and will lead his program against opponents like Rutgers, Dartmouth and Maryland in 2009.

St. Peter's fell to Seton Hall 6-0 in preseason action back on Aug. 27 in South Orange, N.J. The Peacocks were outshot 28-6, including a 15-1 edge in attempts on goal.

On Nov. 22, 2008 the Huskies used a 2-0 victory over Virigina in NCAA Tournament play to earn the program's 700th win (regular & post-season). Tonight marks the programs' 1,228th game as the Huskies look for their 701st program victory.

Josh Ford is currently in the top-10 in wins (31), fewest losses (8), consecutive starts (46), lowest GAA (0.56) and shutouts (26) in the Huskies' career record book. Mike Pezza has 30 assists in three years, moving him into a three-way tie for seventh among UConn's all-time assist leaders.

The Huskies will continue it's opening week homestand with a non-conference match-up against No. 23/24 Boston University on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 8:00 p.m at Morrone Stadium. Saturday night is also Tailgate Night for men's soccer fans. Fans will receive free fan items. In addition, there will be a post-game autograph session with the Huskies following the 8:00 p.m. match.