STORRS, CT (December 1) The University of Connecticut mens soccer team advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2002 NCAA Mens College Cup with a 1-0 victory over Indiana University at Morrone Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Connecticut, seeded seventh in the tournament and ranked eighth in the nation ended the Hoosiers season, who were ranked fifth nationally and unseeded in post-season action. The field conditions were damp and slippery with todays game being the third contest in five days to have been played on the field.
Behind the strong efforts of UConns defensive and midfield lines, the Huskies improved to 17-5 overall, and will be making their third appearance in the quarterfinal round in the last four years. Indianas season was cut short with a 15-4-2 record, and ended its five-year streak of advancing to the College Cup Final Four.
After Indiana dominated the first minutes of play taking three consecutive shots, the tempo switched more towards midfield with both teams getting equal chances. UConn came out on top on a goal from Cesar Cuellar (Santa Cruz, Bolivia) at the 16:34 mark, the only score of the game. He took a left-footed shot from the center, 25-yards out, as he was going one-on-two with Danny ORourke and David Prall. He made his way through the two shooting the ball into the bottom right of the net.
The Hoosiers had a solid chance in the first ten minutes of the second half. Mike Ambersley nailed a shot that went just shy of the right goal post. IN the latter part of the half, Cuellar had a goal called offsides after an UConn corner kick was played out to the top of the box and sent back in by Anthony Curtis (Kingston, Jamaica) to Damani Ralph (Kingston, Jamaica), and over to Cuellar who placed the ball from in front of the net. Again, Cuellar had another chance after playing with the ball in the box, he took a shot after he forced IU keeper Jay Nolly to come out sliding. Cuellar slide the ball to his left and defender Phil Presser was in the goalmouth to clear the ball out.
UConns Adam Schuerman (Brookfield, WI) recorded two saves in net, including one in the first minutes of play to help the Huskies to their 11th shutout of the season. Nolly notched six saves, tying his season-high, while the Presser had a team save. UConn out shot Indiana, 15-7, and served a season-high 11 corner kicks.
UConn will face Maryland in the Elite Eight of the 2002 NCAA Mens College Cup in College Park, MD next weekend. A date and time will be announced.