UConn Men’s Soccer came very close to scoring an upset, but No. 9 Notre Dame proved too much for the Huskies, as the Fighting Irish took a 1-0 win in front of 4,542 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on Saturday night.
“It’s inexcusable for us to lose that game,” UConn head coach Ray Reid said. “We’re in the business of winning and these guys need to learn how to win.”
Scott Levene made three saves and though the Huskies were up 10-to-4 in shots, Notre Dame had more shots on target, 4-to-1.
The Huskies came out hard and knocked Notre Dame on their heels to begin the match and they carried that momentum throughout the first half, holding possession and most of the scoring chances.
They led in shots and corner kicks by the same 3-to-1 margin, but the Fighting Irish had the only shot on goal.
UConn’s best opportunity was actually two chances in quick succession in the 27th minute.
Dylan Greenberg, who had a phenomenal game, charged a loose ball and beat the Fighting Irish offensive player to the ball with a slide. Abdou Mbacke Thiam flicked the ball to Austin DaSilva and he was off to the races.
He was headed off by a Notre Dame defender, who made the clear, but the ball ended up on Greenberg’s foot again after a nice overlapping run to the left side. His cross was a good one, but nobody was home and the match would remain scoreless.
“We got the ball wide well, but we have to do a better job with deliveries and getting guys in the box,” Niko Petridis said.
Early in the second half, they continued to press the issue. In the 50th minute, Andrew Geres had a strong run down the right side and his cross was cleared behind for a corner, but nothing came of it.
UConn followed it up with an amazing chance in the 62nd minute off the foot of Nicolas Apostol. Josh Burnett sent a cross from left to right and found the freshman about 10 yards from goal all alone. Chris Hubbard made an amazing diving save on the shot destined for the bottom right corner to keep it tied.
“Apostol is a great injection,” Reid said.
Notre Dame did not really have any offensive chances through much of the match, but when they did, they capitalized.
They scored their goal in the 84th minute on a cross to the far post. Jack Casey settled it and flicked it over to Jeff Farina, who beat Levene.
“We can’t do that,” Reid said. “The game is about scoring and stopping goals.”
UConn (1-2-0) has the week off before they host the Georgetown Hoyas on Satuday at Morrone Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.