The defense led by Dylan Greenberg, a redshirt sophomore, delivered UConn their 11th win of the year, behind a 1-0 win with seven seconds to go in overtime. Scott Levene and the UConn defense recorded their eighth clean sheet of the season, improving on their already eighth in the nation 0.57 goals against average.
Greenberg became the third UConn defender to score the goal this year, as it was set up by fellow defender sophomore Simen Olafsen. After scoring the goal, the team flooded the field. Greenberg was still at a loss for words following the game and the excitement of scoring. “We know how good they are and we know the competition that they play,” Greenberg said, after processing the goal and the win. “We knew it was a big game, we pushed through we did really well, we played well as a team and got the job done.”
Senior tri-captain Kwame Awuah was very pleased with Greenberg and Olafsen on the final play, noting, “It was a perfect time for him to do that (Olafsen) for a center back to dribble past three people, without him we wouldn’t have scored.”
Awuah added, “In overtime we tried to keep sound defensively and when we had the chance try to finish it off,” as all game long the UConn defense was an unrelenting force on the field.
Throughout the first half, the Huskies defense had their way with the Eagles offense as they only allowed one shot, which was off frame and hit the right mesh of the net. Redshirt junior Scott Levene was poised in goal and was able to start attacks from the back and dispel danger with his feet. The UConn defense allowed zero corners in the first and Levene did not record a save. The only thing remotely close to danger was poor passing from the Huskies themselves.
On the other side of the field, the Boston College goalkeepers had their hands full as their defense allowed five corners in the first. The usual starter for the Eagles, sophomore Cedric Saladin, was scratched minutes prior to the game and was subbed on the 13th minute of the match. Freshman Jack Bacon got the start and recorded a crucial save in the 8th minute off a tough shot by redshirt junior Andrew Geres. Saladin recorded two saves in the final 32 minutes of the first half, including a save off a shot by sophomore Abdou Mbacke Thiam late in the half.
The second half resembled much of the first, as UConn possessed the ball the majority of the time and was able to penetrate Boston College’s defense. The Eagles first real chance of the game came in the 60th minute as they had a free kick in a dangerous position which was easily caught by Levene. He was only needed twice more in the half, recording an easy save in the 77th punching away a cross in the 89th minute.
Saladin and the Eagles defense were under pressure throughout the second half as they endured a penalty kick off the bar by Abdou in the 54th minute and needed a goal line clearance by sophomore Abe Bibas in the 82nd minute. The second half finished 0-0 as the game headed to a 10 minute overtime period.
In the first and final overtime, Greenberg was able to hammer home a goal with seven seconds left in the period to give UConn the 1-0 win.
Coach Ray Reid was pleased with the team being able to bounce back from a loss as he summed it up perfectly when he said, “Our guys handled themselves well it was a great effort… a great team effort.”
On the season, the Huskies have only allowed eight goals, and they look to remain solid in the back for the final three conference games of the season. Their next game is Saturday on the road at UCF at 7 p.m.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org