STORRS, Conn. (November 9, 2005) - The sixth-ranked University of Connecticut mens soccer will take on St. John's Friday at 6:00 p.m. in the second of two BIG EAST Tournament semifinal contests hosted by UConn at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. USF and Providence will battle it out in the first game, set to begin at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are still available for the weekend of championship action by calling the UConn Ticket Office. Additionally, both semifinal games will be broadcasted live by CSTV with the championship game on BIG EAST TV.
Friday's game will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. The first time around, the then-12th ranked Huskies battled to a scoreless tie with the then-No. 8 Red Storm on Sept. 23 at Morrone Stadium for their only tie of the 2005 season.
The 2005 BIG EAST Blue Division champions and defending tournament champions are led by freshman OBrian White (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) and sophomore Chukwudi Chijindu, who have combined for over one-third of the teams total points. White has netted eight goals and five assists for a team-high 21 points, while Chijindu has made his mark with a Husky-leading nine goals and two assists. Sophomores Julius James (Maloney Gardens, Trinidad) and Karl Schilling (Canton, Conn.) have shut down the opposition in the backfield, keeping four of the last five opponents scoreless and allowing just two goals all season at Morrone Stadium.
Of the 52 shots that have made their way around the Husky defense, goalie Adam Schuerman (Brookfield, Wis.) has stopped all but nine of them. The senior keeper broke the school record for shutouts and has now amassed 35 over the span of four years, in addition to moving into second in career wins with 48.
Up Next: Following the BIG EAST Tournament, the NCAA seedings will be announced on Monday, Nov. 14 between 4-4:30 EST on ESPNews.
A Closer Look At The Opponent
St. Johns (9-4-5, 6-2-3 BIG EAST)
The 11th-ranked Red Storm heads into the semifinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament for the first time since 2003 when they lost in the championship game to Notre Dame, 2-0. St. Johns has won six conference championships, including four-straight from 1992-1994 under Head Coach Dave Masur. The 14-year coaching veteran is 21-7-2 in league tournament play since taking over the team in 1991.
Masurs squad has won just two of their last seven games of the 2005 season, going 2-3-2 since mid-October. They have remained ranked despite the recent slip and are led by Matt Groenwald, Andre Schmid and Sebastian Alvarado-Ralph on the attack. Groenwald is the team-leading scorer with five goals and four assists, while Schmid and Sebastian-Ralph have posted four goals and four assists through 18 games of action. Jason Landers controls play between the pipes for the Red Storm, tallying 50 saves for a .820 save percentage. His 0.58 goals against average ranks him second in the BIG EAST behind UConns Adam Schuerman (Brookfield, Wis.).
Series History: Though St. Johns leads the overall series against the Huskies by a 11-9-3 mark, UConn holds a 7-5-1 advantage in head-to-head meetings between the two teams in Storrs. The last time the two teams met in the postseason was in the first round of the 2003 NCAA College Cup when the Red Storm advanced on penalty kicks following a scoreless game. In four BIG EAST Tournament meetings, UConn and St. Johns have split the results, going 2-2 with the most recent meeting coming in the championship game in 2001.
Tickets for the conference semifinals and championship in Storrs are available from the UConn ticket office by calling 877-AT-UCONN. Ticket prices are:
$7 for adults (18-and-over)
$4 senior citizens / youth (18-and-under)
$2 groups of 20 or more (in advance)
BIG EAST students with ID Free.
The BIG EAST semifinal games will be televised live on College Sports Television (CSTV) on Nov. 11. The first game between USF and Providence will begin at 3:30 p.m. The second game will start at 6:00 p.m. and will feature Connecticut and St. Johns. The winners will advance to the championship game on Nov. 13, which will be broadcast live on select BIG EAST regional outlets:
Comcast SportsNet Chicago Live, Noon
CN8 Sports* Live, Noon
Fox College Sports Pacific Live, Noon
Cox Sports Television Live, Noon
FSN New England Delay, November 13, 1:00 pm
CSTV Delay, November 13, 4:00 pm
Comcast Local (Michigan) Delay, November 13, 9:00 pm
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Delay, November 14, 1:00 pm
Catch 47 (Tampa) Delay, November 14, 9:00 pm
Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS)** Delay, November 18 Noon
WHME-TV, South Bend Delay, TBA
*CN8 Sports reaches the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia; **Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) reaches the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia