Pirates upset No. 3 Connecticut
The Pirates stunned No. 3 Connecticut on Sunday evening with a 1-0 victory on senior night at Owen T. Carroll Field to snap a seven game losing streak, and earned their first Big East win of the season.
This is the first win for the Pirates over UConn since 2005, when the Huskies were also ranked No.3
The lone goal came in the 20th minute off the foot of freshman midfielder Kai Greene to the upper left corner of the net in the 20th minute of play. The goal was Greene’s second of the season, and snapped the Pirates’ two game scoreless streak.
Head coach Manfred Schellscheidt said that he was joking around after the game in saying that the Pirates tend to play better against highly ranked opponents.
“”We should be playing No.1 teams more often to come up with a better game,” Schellscheidt said. “When you play a team like UConn, who is a very good team, it becomes a pretty good soccer game.”
This was the second time this season that the Pirates shut out a ranked opponent when Mario DeClarico blanked No. 1 Maryland in a 0-0 draw.
Goalkeeper Anthony Reichwaldt mad four important saves and earned his second shutout of the season, and made several key saves to preserve the Pirate’s lead.
In the 24th minute Reichwaldt made a leaping stop off a Connecticut free kick, sending the ball over the net.
In the final seconds of the first half, Reichwaldt jumped out of the box to stop a threatening Connecticut attack.
Schellscheidt said that Reichwaldt’s performance in goal was the difference maker of the match.
“Today he made the difference,” Schellscheidt said. “From a keeper you need days like this, which includes saves that keep you in the game.”
Reichwaldt’s most important save came in the 64th minute when he lunged to make the stop from UConn midfielder/forward Carlos Alvarez.
The Huskies did not go down quietly as they had six shots in the last ten minutes, four of which were blocked by the Pirate’s defense.
Schellscheidt said that he was cheerful for Pirate seniors, defender Joe Baker, midfielder Bradley Kersetter, injured forward Michael Dietze, midfielder Giovanni Zammiello, and redshirt senior goalkeeper Michael Kuzan, who were honored at halftime.
“”I’m happy for them (seniors) in particular that in the end they pulled off a win against a very good team.”
Despite winning Schellscheidt said that the team could have played better.
“I think they had better chances throughout the game,” Schellscheidt said. “. I think we had chances for one or two more goals especially the one with Max in the first half, but not every ball goes in.”
Schellsheidt said that he wants the team to continue this momentum.
“I hope that once again we play against another good team and can come up with good soccer,” Schellscheidt said.
The Pirates will finish their season when they travel to South Bend, Ind. to make up a postponed game against Notre Dame on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Kick-off is scheduled for noon.
T.J Brennan can be reached at email@example.com