OMAHA, Neb. (November 28, 2008) - The No. 22 University of Connecticut men's soccer team fell to No. 2 and seventh seeded Creighton University 2-1 in overtime at Morrison Stadium in third round action of the NCAA Tournament in front of a crowd of 2,263.
A free kick by Andrei Gotsmanov with 1:28 left in the first overtime period found Seth Sinovic in the box who connected for his third goal of the season as Creighton improves to 16-1-2 overall on the season and will now advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals to face No. 2-seed Maryland at Ludwig Field in College Park, Maryland. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, Dec. 6. The Huskies end their season with an overall record of 11-5-6 after today's loss.
The first half of play shuffled back and forth between the two teams as both the Bluejays and Huskies had their chances with the ball. In the 11th minute, Creighton took their second shot of the game as a tricky behind the back kick by Tim Walters went wide of the net and UConn goalkeeper, Josh Ford (Liverpool, N.Y.).
The Bluejays were able to play the ball up the field into the 18-yard box in the 14th minute as two Creighton players collided in the box and were unable to get a solid shot off. Walters was credited with the shot on goal as the ball deflected off his chest into the hands of Ford, who came out of the box to make the play.
Ford picked up four saves in the first half as he recorded two in a span of four seconds as Creighton's Gotsmanov fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box and was pushed away from the net by Ford. The Bluejay's Jeff Thayer took the one-time rebound shot which Ford was able to stop for his third save of the game. In the 21st minute of play, Ford made another save, leaping in the air to punch the ball out of bounds on an Ethan Finlay shot on goal.
The Huskies' first shot on goal came in the 30th minute as Akeem Priestley's (Kingston, Jamaica) shot was caught in the gloves of Creighton goalkeeper, Brian Holt.
In the 33rd minute, the Huskies' went up 1-0 as a turnover by the Bluejays at midfield landed at the foot of Priestley who led the ball up the field to freshman Tony Cascio (Gilbert, Ariz.) who was able to free himself down field and get a shot off. Cascio's second career goal and second score in two games knocked off the near post and into the back of the net. With the score, Cascio improved his point tally to 10 with two goals and six assists in his rookie season for the Huskies.
Creighton began the second half with three quick shots in the first three minutes as a Jeff Thayer shot was blocked in front of the net by Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Chino Hills, Calif.). Watson-Siriboe had a shot of his own, his sixth of the season, at 54:24 as he tried to tap the ball into the net but missed wide.
UConn recorded their first corner kick of the contest in the 71st minute as Watson-Siriboe's header off the Shawn Nicklaw (San Diego, Calif.) corner missed wide.
The Bluejays had an opportunity to tie the game with just under 19 minutes left as Gotsmanov got a hold of a loose ball in front of Ford in net but shot high of the target.
At the 78:05 mark, Creighton tied the game at one as Chris Schuler found the back of the net on a header off a pass from Ethan Finlay. On a Creighton free kick, Gotsmanov crossed the ball into the box as Finlay headed the ball to Schuler in front of the net, who was able to knot the score at one and force the game into overtime.
The Bluejays capitalized on another free kick at the 98:32 mark, scoring the game winning goal in overtime to give them the victory.
This was just the second time that these two programs have faced each other, the other being the 2000 College Cup title game as the Huskies defeated the Bluejays 2-0 for the National Championship title. The all-time series is now tied 1-1 between the two teams.
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