Posted on October 3, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sophomore goalkeeper and Jamaican native Andre Blake made seven saves to anchor No. 2 Connecticut’s 2-1 Big East victory over No. 3 Georgetown on Wednesday afternoon.
Forwards Mamadou Doudou Diouf and Allando Matheson scored for UConn (10-0-1, 3-0-0) against the Hoyas (10-1-1, 2-1-0).
Georgetown finished with an 18-14 edge in shots, including an 8-6 edge in shots on goal.
“I thought this was a very good overall performance. We didn’t have our A-game, but we were good enough on the day,” UConn coach Ray Reid said. “That’s a very good team. Very well coached and organized. They’re one of the best teams we’ve played all year. We were very resilient and strong today.”
The 6-4, 175-lb. Blake, who hails from May Pen, Jamaica, was sensational from the opening whistle, making six saves in a first half that saw Georgetown dominate. The Hoyas outshot Connecticut in the opening half, 12-6. Blake made several highlight saves to rob the Big East’s top goal-scorer, Brandon Allen, in the opening 20 minutes.
“He’s the best goalkeeper in America. Plain and simple,” Reid said. “He makes incredible saves and he makes them look easy. We are very fortunate to have him here.”
Allen had chances from straight on from within 15 yards stopped in the 11th minute and the 15th, both denied with excellent diving saves to Blake’s left at the far post.
The Huskies weathered the early pressure and opened the scoring with a free kick from Diouf in the 39th minute.
Georgetown keeper Keon Parsa committed a hand ball just outside the top of the penalty area. With the Georgetown defense protesting the referee’s decision and scrambling to set up a wall, Diouf took a quick restart and fired into the nearly empty net for his eighth goal of the season to tie Allen atop the BE leader board.
Minutes later, Blake made his third stop on Allen from inside the box, diving to his left and parrying the ball away from danger on a shot from 14 yards.
Connecticut made it 2-0 off the head of Matheson in the 64th minute. Max Wasserman sent a short corner kick to left back Flo Liu at the top left corner of the box. Liu’s cross towards the penalty spot curled right to Matheson for a flick into the far post. It was Matheson’s sixth goal of the season with Liu and Wasserman earning their first and fourth assists, respectively.
The two-goal deficit seemed to spark the Hoyas, who sliced the lead in half two minutes later. Sophomore midfielder Tyler Rudy found junior forward Steve Neumann open in the corner. Neumann sent pass low into the box and hit the foot of a charging Andy Riemer, who struck it past Blake.
Parsa made a brilliant save to keep it 2-1 in the 78th minute, robbing Alvarez from what looked like a sure goal. With Parsa stationed on the left post, Alvarez took a pass from Diouf 14 yards and fired towards the right side. Parsa dived clear across the goal line and robbed Alvarez.
The Hoyas sent numbers forward in the remaining 12 minutes but the UConn defense held strong.
Connecticut is in the middle of a three-game stretch against top 10 opponents, which concludes at No. 9 Marquette on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST. That game can be heard at WHUS.org. There also will be a live stream linked to UConnhuskies.com.
Photo: Andre Blake was at the top of his game for UConn vs. Maryland. Steve Slade/UConn Athletics
Categories: Caribbean, Jamaica
Tags: Andre Blake, Big East, Georgetown University, Ray Reid, University of Connecticut