No. 9/7 MU Stuns No. 2/2 UConn, 3-2, at Valley Fields
Oct. 6, 2012
MILWAUKEE – Senior Andy Huftalin scored in each half as No. 9/7 Marquette (11-0-0, 3-0-0 BIG EAST) held on to upset No. 2/2 Connecticut (10-1-1, 2-1-0) by a final tally of 3-2 in a BIG EAST Blue Division showdown Saturday night in front of 1,353 fans at Valley Fields.
With kickoff temperature hovering around the 40-degree mark, Saturday’s crowd was the fourth-largest on record for a men’s soccer match at The Valley to watch the battle between two previously unbeaten teams. With the win, the Golden Eagles extend the nation’s longest win streak to 11 games to open the 2012 season.
Marquette scored the opening goal in the 33rd minute. Sophomore winger Sebastian Jansson crossed it to the far post where it was stopped by a UConn defender. Sophomore Kelmend Islami was there to pick up the loose ball and played it back to redshirt junior Adam Lysak who unleashed a rocket inside the right post to make it 1-0 in favor of the home side.
Roughly seven minutes later, Marquette got its next scoring opportunity when freshman right back Adam Hermsen sent a long cross inside the box where he found senior Andy Huftalin, who was able to finish inside the far post to give MU a 2-0 advantage at the 44:00-minute mark.
Marquette continued to attack aggressively coming out of the gates for the second half, but Connecticut got on the board in the 71st minute to get it back to within a goal at 2-1. Adria Beso played it to Jossimar Sanchez inside the right corner of the box. Sanchez was able to chip it into the back of the net as MU goalkeeper Charlie Lyon arrived to the ball.
Lyon, who was charging on the play, collided with Sanchez on the 50/50 ball in the box. Sanchez would be taken off the field in an ambulance with a serious leg injury.
On the other side of the field, Preseason BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake made some spectacular saves early in the second half to help keep it close until Huftalin again beat Blake in the 82nd minute on a wonderfully played cross to the far post by Lysak. Huftalin’s second tally of the match extended MU’s lead back to 3-1.
It was the first time in 37 career matches that Blake surrendered more than two goals in a match.
UConn then scored in the final minute of regulation on a nice goal by Beso, unassisted, to make it 3-2, but the Huskies were unable to rally for the equalizer in the waning seconds of regulation.
Blake finished with seven saves after facing 21 shots by Marquette. Lyon ended up with five saves on the night, as MU earned redemption for a 3-0 loss last season at UConn on Oct. 26, 2011, which coincidentally is also the last time the Golden Eagles lost a regular-season contest.
There were a total of four cautions in the match, two to each side. A yellow card was given to MU’s Eric Pothast following a tackle at the top of the box, setting up a quality chance for the visitors after a quick re-start that was thwarted by the MU defense. In addition, Huftalin was carded, while two UConn players were also booked in the match, Sergio Campbell and Max Wasserman.
Marquette wraps up its current two-match home stand on Tuesday, Oct. 9, when the Golden Eagles host Northern Illinois (7:05 p.m. CT).
Marquette Starters: Lyon (GK), Dillon, Sjoberg, Ciesiulka, Robb, Selvaggi, E. Pothast, Jansson, Hermsen, J. Pothast, Islami (Subs: Huftalin, Lysak, Mau)