Oct. 9, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - The University of Connecticut men's soccer team will face off with No. RV/25 West Virginia on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. live on FOX Soccer Channel.
The BIG EAST battle in Morgantown, W. Va. features the 13th-ranked Huskies and the 25th-ranked Mountaineers. UConn registered its sixth victory of the season on Tuesday night with a 4-0 win over Providence College. West Virginia is 5-2-3 on the year and 4-1-2 in the league, while UConn adds a 5-1-0 record in the BIG EAST.
LAST TIME OUT
The Huskies completed a four-game home stand with four consectutive wins as UConn downed Providence 4-0 on Tuesday night at Morrone Stadium. The game was taped by Cox Sports Television with an air date of Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8:00 p.m. The four goals recorded were a game-high for the Huskies this season.
Tony Cascio registered a career-high six points on two goals and two assists to lead the UConn charge as Carlos Alvarez and Alan Ponce had their own multi-point night. Alvarez recorded his first career points with a goal and an assist, while Ponce scored his third goal of the year to add to UConn's tally. Shawn Nicklaw picked up his first point of 2009 with an assist as Stephane DIOP also picked up an assist. Josh Ford finished the night with three saves for his seventh shutout of the year.
HOW THEY COMPARE
The Huskies are 11-4-2 against the Mountaineers since their first meeting during the 1984 season when UConn downed West Virginia 4-0 in Storrs, Conn. The Huskies have not defeated the Mountaineers since their 1-0 victory in Morgantown, W. Va. on Oct. 26, 2005.
In their last three meetings, West Virginia has earned the win and while playing the Mountaineers on the road UConn is 3-2-1 all-time.
UConn sophomore Tony Cascio is leading the Huskies in 2009 with a five goals and four assists for a team-best 14 points. The midfielder has taken20 shots, including nine on goal, and has registered one game-winner.
Josh Ford has been the Huskies lone goalkeeper for the last 56 consecutive games as the redshirt junior has made 30 saves, while recording seven shutouts in 2009. With a 0.57 goals against average, Ford has allowed just six goals all year and has a .833 save percentage.
SHUTTING DOWN THE OPPOSITION
UConn has not allowed a goal in 360 minutes of play, while the Huskies have not only out scored teams 8-0 in the last four games but have picked up 27 points to their opponent's zero.
FINDING THEIR OFFENSE
On the year, UConn has scored 13 goals, 10 less than what the team tallied in the entire 2008 (22-game) season. Tony Cascio has a team-best five goals on the season after scoring two in the 4-0 win over Providence. Cascio and freshman Carlos Alvarez also lead the Huskies with four assists each as the program has tallied 17 on the year, while in 2008, UConn had just 10 more in a 22-game season.
SCOUTING WEST VIRGINIA
The Mountaineers enter tonight's game 4-0-1 in their last five matches after battling Pittsburgh to a 0-0 double overtime tie on Tuesday night. Zach Johnson made two saves in net for the Mountaineers, while they out shot Pitt 18-6 on the night. Offensively, the Mountaineers are out-shooting opponents, 112-76, and winning the battle in corner kicks, 66-46, while averaging 11.2 shots and 0.80 goals per game.
With the tie to Pittsburgh, the Mountaineers fall behind the Huskies in the BIG EAST Blue Division standings as they entered Tuesday's contest tied with the Huskies atop of the division. Head coach Marlon LeBlanc is in his fourth season at WVU. The 2000 Penn State graduate led the Mountaineers to a 5-9-5 overall record in 2008 but returns nine starters from that team in 2009.
IN THE RANKINGS
After spending a week out of the national polls, UConn used two BIG EAST victories to earn a spot back in the top-25 in the Soccer America Poll as UConn earned the No. 22 spot last week. This week the Soccer America Poll has the Huskies No. 13.
In the other three polls last week, the NSCAA/adidas, College Soccer News and Soccer Times, the Huskies received votes. This week College Soccer News ranked the Huskies at No. 26, while Soccer Times had UConn at the 22nd spot. The NSCAA/adidas poll had UConn receiving votes.
UConn will return to Storrs to host nationally-ranked Harvard in non-conference action on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7:00 p.m. at Morrone Stadium. The Huskies are 13-8-5 against the Crimson, while winning the last two matches between the two programs. The Huskies have not faced Harvard since the 1994 season.
BRICKLEY BRINGS HOME HONOR
For the first time in his career, UConn junior Robert Brickley was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week as announced Monday afternoon by the conference office. Louisville's Mark Knight earned BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading the Cardinals with two goals and one assist in Louisville's 6-0 win over DePaul. Ryan Jones from Syracuse earned his first shutout of his career with a 3-0 victory over Rutgers as the Orange recorded their first league victory of the season as Jones was named Rookie of the Week. Junior Jeff Attinella earned Goalkeeper of the Week honors as well as he recorded his fourth shutout with a 1-0 win over Cincinnati.