September 17, 2013, Syracuse, NY (ISN) – Alex Halis (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the 24th minute and Alex Bono (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) recorded his 100th save of his career as the Syracuse men’s soccer team (4-2-0) upset No. 12 Connecticut (2-2-1) with a 1-0 shutout on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the SU Soccer Stadium.
“In the last couple of years, we haven’t had this type of win against an opponent like UConn,” said SU head coach Ian McIntyre. “We talked before the game that we’re going to win one of these games. It was important to talk about not just playing games, but winning games. Tonight, we were very disciplined and we worked hard. To limit an offense like UConn’s to the chances it had tonight, it was a very good performance.”
The match was evenly-contested through the game’s opening minutes with both squads trading offensive opportunities. SU capitalized in the 24th minute when a deflected ball landed inside the Connecticut box, which Halis calmly collected and shot past Huskie goalkeeper Andre Blake.
Emil Ekblom (Bekkestua, Norway) nearly doubled the Orange advantage in the 26th minute, when he skillfully maneuvered past a defender at the top of the box, but his shot went just wide of the goal.
Halis’ tally was all the Orange needed, as the SU backline continually knocked away Connecticut opportunities and limited UConn’s runs inside the SU third. Syracuse defensemen Oyvind Alseth (Trondheim, Norway), Jordan Murrell (Markham, Ontario, Canada), Chris Makowski (Quakertown, Pa.), Brandon Albert (Massena, N.Y.) as well as Trevor Alexander (Meriden, Conn.) limited the Huskies to three shots in the second half and disrupted numerous threats posed by the visitors.
Bono recorded five saves, including his 100th of his caree, en route to the shutout victory. Blake was charged with the loss for Connecticut.
UConn outshot the Orange, 7-4, and earned seven corner kick opportunities to SU’s five.
Syracuse returns to ACC action when it visits Duke on Friday, Sept. 20. SU and the Blue Devils kick off at 7 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium.
MATCH NOTES: The No. 12-ranked Huskies represent the highest-ranked team the Orange has defeated in the regular season since SU triumphed versus No. 8 Rutgers, 3-2, on Oct. 17, 2001 … Syracuse defeated Connecticut for the first time since Oct. 26, 2003 … Bono now has 13 career shutouts, which ranks seventh in the SU record books and is the most clean sheets by an SU goalie since Kevin Bacher had 13.5 from 1997-2000 … It was Albert’s first career start … Chris Nanco (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) and Halis played against former Sigma FC teammates in UConn’s Kwame Awuah and Cyle Larin.