Nov. 20, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men’s soccer team will host New Mexico in the NCAA Third Round on Sunday, November 25 at 1 p.m. at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs. The Huskies are the No. 4 overall seed and advanced to the NCAA Third Round with a 1-0 victory over Northeastern. New Mexico, the No. 13 overall seed, downed Virginia 3-1 last week to advance.
The game can be heard live at WHUS.org with a free webstream linked to uconnhuskies.com. For ticket information, CLICK HERE or call 1-877-AT-UCONN. For information on group tickets, please contact Assistant Coach Mike Mordocco at 860-486-2465.
By Margot Gahan – UConn Athletic Communications
As the Huskies prepare to face New Mexico in the NCAA Third Round Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m., the seniors on the team are feeling confident about the team going all the way.
“[I am] Feeling confident about the game this weekend. The guys know now more than ever that if we don’t perform to the best of our abilities that we are putting the balls away until February. We all know we came up short last year and for the group of seniors it is our last opportunity to prove that we, along with the juniors sophomores and freshmen, are a special group,” said senior defender Jossimar Sanchez.
“With last year’s tournament outcome and this years chemistry, I think we have the recipe for a championship,” added senior defender Max Wasserman.
The Huskies made it to the NCAA Quarterfinals last year and have come up short the past three seasons, losing in penalty kicks.
The team is not letting the pressure of the game get to them though, and is preparing as if this were just another regular season game. “I would say the same pressure as any game before this. Our mentality is to play every game like it is our last and each game has a significant importance. It is tournament time and we are just trying to get through Sunday to get the opportunity to play one more game,” said Sanchez.
Wasserman sees this game as another step towards the end goal of a championship, saying, “There is always pressure on the team to win, especially at home, but that is something we have all learned to cope with and actually turn into fuel for each game. Our fans have expectations for us and so do we. We know what’s at stake, but we don't want to psych ourselves out thinking about the importance of the game. ‘Unfinished business’ has been our motto this entire season, and this game is just another step towards finishing that business.”
As for their previous tournament experience? It is motivation for these players to go farther than before.
“For the guys who were here, it is definite motivation, but nothing to dwell on. If anything, its an experience we can look back on and learn from. We have guys that have played in many elimination games before, we are just excited to prove ourselves once and for all,” said Wasserman.
Sanchez added, “We have a group of guys that have been through some tough games. We know what we need to do and last year showed us how close we were to accomplishing our goal. We have tuned some things but ultimately this group of guys should know what it will take to get to Alabama and not fall short.”
Sanchez and Wasserman feel their leadership as seniors has influenced this team and could be a contributing factor to their team’s successful season.
“We have great chemistry on the team and the respect the seniors have from the underclassman is great,” said Wasserman.
“The younger guys definitely look up to the older guys not only because of how we play but because of the character the senior class has. It is our responsibility to lead and show the guys the way and have them buy into what the team wants to accomplish,” said Sanchez.
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