Nov. 8, 2012
CHESTER, Pa. -The University of Connecticut men's soccer team will face off against Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals on Friday, November 9. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m., televised on CBS Sports Network. Fans can also follow the action at WHUS.org, 91.7 fm.
The semifinals and final will be played at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., home of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer.
Georgetown and Marquette will play in the first semifinal at 5 p.m. The winners will play on Sunday at Noon for the BIG EAST Championship. The league will announce the All-BIG EAST Teams and the major award winners on Thursday night.
Connecticut, ranked No. 6 in the latest NSCAA poll, earned its 12th BIG EAST Regular Season Championship with a 6-2-0 record in conference play. The Huskies downed Villanova, the No. 4 seed in the Red Division, 1-0, on Sunday, November 4 to advance to the semifinals. The Huskies are searching for their eighth BIG EAST Tournament Title and the first since 2007. Connecticut fell in the 2011 BIG EAAST Championship, 1-0, in overtime to St. John's.
UConn enters Friday's match with a 15-2-1 overall mark, including a 2-1 result at home against Notre Dame on September 29. In that match, Carlos Alvarez and Flo Liu scored for UConn to take a 2-0 lead in the first half. Andre Blakefinished with six stops.
Friday's match will feature one of the top offenses in the nation against one of the stingiest defenses in the NCAA. Notre Dame is ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA poll and comes into the match averaging 2.44 goals per match, good for fourth in the nation. The UConn defense has allowed just nine goals in 18 games for a .50 goals against average. That total ranks fourth in the nation. UConn's offense has been exceptional in 2012 as well, scoring 2.00 goals per game to rank 21st in the country and third in the BIG EAST Conference.
The top two, and three of the top-four scorers, will be in action Friday night. Notre Dame's Ryan Finley leads the conference and ranks second in the nation with 18 goals. UConn's Mamadou Doudou Diouf sits in second in the league and 10th in the nation with 13 tallies. Carlos Alvarez has recorded seven goals and eight assists for 22 points and ranks fourth in the BIG EAST. Alvarez's eight assists rank third in the league.