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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette Men’s Soccer: UConn downs MU 3-0

If the No. 5/2 Connecticut Huskies wanted an opportunity to win the Big East’s Blue Division, they had to beat the Marquette Golden Eagles (8-7-2, 6-2-0 Big East) at Joseph Morrone Stadium on Wednesday night in Storrs, Conn.

They succeeded.

Sophomore forward Mamadou Diouf led the way to a 3-0 victory with two goals and an assist.

In a surprising move, Big East Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year Tony Cascio started on the bench for Connecticut. Freshman Allando Matheson started in his place, and gave the Huskies the lead with a goal in the ninth minute.

Diouf played a low cross in from the right wing that Matheson put into the back of the net.

The Huskies (14-1-2, 5-1-2) doubled their lead in the 20th minute when Diouf headed home junior midfielder Stephane Diop’s cross from the left wing for his ninth goal of the season.

Marquette coach Louis Bennett knew his team would have to come out well against Connecticut, which extended its undefeated streak to 14-0-0 when it scores first.

“We knew the first 25 minutes would be really important in this game,” Bennett said. “I don’t think we were quite up to speed. We gave the ball away quite a bit, and we were just a day late and a dollar short.”

Sophomore defender Eric Pothast said the team didn’t start the game the way it wanted to.

“We always want to come out with a good foot forward and take the game to the other team,” Pothast said. “Conceding two soft goals at the beginning of the game put us on the back foot early.”

In the 55th minute, the Senegalese duo combined for Connecticut’s third goal when Diop played Diouf through on goal from the left wing. Diouf finished under Check’s legs from 12 yards out, and sealed the result for the hosts.

Connecticut’s attacking players didn’t stay in the same place for very long, rotating all around the field throughout. Pothast said their movement put Marquette’s defense in tough positions.

“One second they’d be in the middle, the next second they’d be out wide,” Pothast said. “You want to stay tight to your other central defender, but at the same time account for the forward out wide. It was a difficult game.”

Marquette’s two best chances came through senior midfielder Amilcar Herrera.

In the first half, Herrera was on a breakaway with a defender on his shoulder, and shot over the goal from 15 yards out, with freshman goalkeeper Andre Blake charging out at him.

In the second, Herrera got on the end of a cross from the right and had his shot go off senior defender Nickardo Blake’s face then off the post.

The loss marked the third time on the season that Marquette has been shut out. The Golden Eagles had the highest goals per game average amongst Blue Division teams but played a Connecticut team that has only conceded five goals on the season.

A draw against Connecticut would have clinched at least a share of the division crown for the Golden Eagles.

With the loss, Marquette will have to defeat the Pittsburgh Panthers Saturday night at Valley Fields if it wants to win the Blue Division.

“If we lose or draw at home to Pittsburgh, we don’t deserve to win the league,” senior midfielder Calum Mallace said.

Written by Matt Trebby. Special to the Tribune.

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