Oct. 22, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - Notre Dame and fifth-ranked Connecticut played to a 0-0 tie in BIG EAST men's soccer action on Friday night in front of 4,463 fans at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The Fighting Irish now are 7-4-4 overall this season and 4-2-1 in league play.
Despite the lack of scoring, the match featured an up-tempo pace with several scoring opportunities for both squads. Connecticut (10-1-4, 4-0-3) held a slim 17-16 edge in shots, while the Irish had six shots on goal and the Huskies had five. Connecticut gained one more corner kick (5-4) than Notre Dame.
"It was a great game," stated Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "There were chances, there was excitement and the game was played at a high tempo. I think the crowd really got their money's worth tonight. They didn't get goals, but they got action. I was pleased."
The Irish controlled possession early as they registered the first four shots of the match. The first attempt occurred five minutes in as a Brendan King (Naperville, Ill./Edison Academic Center [Fla.]) cross from the left side was placed just high by Michael Rose (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park). Five minutes later, Rose crossed the ball into Steven Perry (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness), who had his header from six yards out saved by Connecticut goalkeeper Josh Ford. Perry had a team-high three shots on goal in the match.
Connecticut notched its first shot 20 minutes into the contest off a scramble following a corner kick. The attempt was saved by Fighting Irish goalkeeper Philip Tuttle (Hooksett, N.H./Brewster Academy). Tuttle made five saves on the night, while Ford had six. The Huskies nearly connected with 22:43 left in the first half as a Robert Brickley header hit the crossbar.
The Huskies had an 8-7 edge in shots for the half, while the Irish had three shots on goal compared to two for Connecticut. Connecticut held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks for the first stanza.
"I thought we kind of grew into the game," commented Clark. "Once we got the ball down and started to play, we were very good. At times we scrambled and that wasn't good. I thought we were the only team that tried to win it in overtime."
Connecticut threatened with three good looks midway through the second half. The first attempt came off the foot of Alan Ponce and Tuttle knocked the ball out of bounds. After the ensuing corner kick, Tony Cascio fired a shot on frame that also was saved by Tuttle. Less than a minute later, Stephane Diop had an open look, but placed his shot wide of the near post from 17 yards out on the left side.
The Irish had one of their best looks of the half with just over 10 minutes remaining as Greg Klazura (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) attacked from the left side and sent a pass over to Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain), who sent a shot in from 16 yards out that was deflected out of bounds. Brovsky had another good chance in the 43rd minute as he headed the ball just over the crossbar from 10 yards away off a cross from Rose.
In the opening seconds of the first 10-minute overtime period, Perry sent a blast on frame from 25 yards that was deflected over the crossbar by Ford. The Huskies best chance of the first extra session came with 4:20 showing on the clock as the ball was loose in front of the Irish goal, yet no Connecticut player could get a shot attempt. The Fighting Irish outshot the Huskies 3-0 in the first overtime.
The Huskies threatened less than two minutes into the second overtime as Diop placed a shot just wide of the near post from 17 yards away. Notre Dame's best chance of the second overtime was with 2:20 left as a diving save by Ford was needed to stop a Perry shot from 22 yards away. The Irish had a 2-1 edge in shots for the second overtime.
Four of the past five matches between Notre Dame and Connecticut have gone to overtime. The Irish are 1-1-2 in those contests.
"It's always a good game when Notre Dame plays UConn," added Clark. "It's one of the best games you get in college soccer every year."
Notre Dame returns home to face BIG EAST foe Pittsburgh at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday at Alumni Stadium. The match can be seen live on UND.com.
Joseph J. Morrone Stadium Storrs, Conn.
October 22, 2010
Notre Dame (7-4-4, 4-2-1) 0 0 0 0 - 0
#5 Connecticut (10-1-4, 4-0-3) 0 0 0 0 - 0
Shots: ND 7-4-3-2 - 16, UC 8-8-0-1 - 17
Corner Kicks: ND 0-2-2-0 - 4, UC 4-1-0-0 - 5
Goalkeepers: ND: Philip Tuttle - 5 SV, 0 GA, 110:00, T; UC: Josh Ford - 6 SV, 0 GA, 100:00, T
Fouls: ND 14, UC 6
Offsides: ND 0, UC 4