MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (October 26, 2005) - OBrian White (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) scored the game-winning goal late in the 54th minute to propel the seventh-ranked University of Connecticut mens soccer team over West Virginia, 1-0, Wednesday night at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. With the win, the Huskies (11-3-1, 6-3-1) secure second place in the BIG EAST Blue Division heading into Saturday nights game against Georgetown, who currently holds the third spot in the final week of regular season play before the conference tournament.
UConns defense was stellar, limiting the Mountaineers (10-6-2, 5-4-1) to just two shots on goal out of 17 attempts en route to securing its ninth shutout of the year. The Huskies were forced to play man-down for the final 29 minutes of play after White received a red card, but the defense foiled all scoring opportunities for West Virginia on its 10 shots during that period.
The Huskies controlled the tempo of play throughout the contest, outshooting the Mountaineers, 7-5, in the first half. WVUs Jarrod Smith got off four of the teams five shots in the opening period, but all failed to even reach the goal because of the stifling defense. Despite several close opportunities by the Huskies from the likes of White and Dori Arad (Hahotrim, Israel), they were unable to find the back of the net and the teams headed into halftime with a scoreless tie.
Both squads came out firing in the second stanza, with Zak Boggs getting off a shot five minutes into the period that was saved by a diving Adam Schuerman (Brookfield, Wis.) with his first of two stops on the day. Ryan Cordeiro (Highland Mills, N.Y.) counterattacked two minutes later for the Huskies sending a hard shot into the arms of West Virginia keeper Nick Noble.
Everything came together just two minutes later when, in the 54th minute, White played the ball to the top of the goal box and sent a hard shot into the lower left corner of the net to put the Huskies on top 1-0 and ultimately give them the win.
Physical play ensued, increasing the total foul count on the night to 28 with four cards being issued to field players between the two squads. The Huskies were not deterred, however, as they continued to wreak havoc on the Mountaineer attack. West Virginia had several opportunities to score late in the second half when Andrew Halsell got off a hard shot that hit the pipe and rebounded back into play before being cleared by the Husky defense. They got the ball back off two consecutive corner kicks that led to a flourish of activity in front of the goal, but no score for the Mountaineers and the Huskies were able to come away with a hard-fought 1-0 win.
Wednesday nights win improves UConns advantage in the all-time series against West Virginia to 11-1-2, while squelching the Mountaineers 7-1-1 record at home heading into the contest.
The Huskies return to action Saturday night at 7:00 in Joseph J. Morrone Stadium against Georgetown. The Hoyas are currently third in the BIG EAST Blue Division, just one point behind the Huskies. The winner of Saturdays game will receive a bye in the first round of the conference tourney as the top two teams in each division get a free pass to the quarterfinals. In addition to holding important post-season implications, the game will serve as the Hartford Courant/CareerBuilder.com Senior Salute for Drew Brown (Middletown, Conn.), Willis Forko (Houston, Texas), Mpho Moloi (Soweto, South Africa) and Schuerman, as they play their final regular season home game at UConn.
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
UConn 0 1 1
WVU 0 0 0
1 53:43 UC WHITE, O'Brian (7) (unassisted)
Shots: UConn 11, WVU 17
Saves: UConn 2 (SCHUERMAN, Adam 2), WVU 4 (NOBLE, Nick 4)