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Men’s Soccer: Irish will host No. 9 Connecticut Saturday

Kate Gales | Friday, October 7, 2005

A 1-0 win Wednesday was just the appetizer needed before a Saturday night home game against the No. 9 Connecticut Huskies.

The Huskies are first in the Big East and have been ranked as high as No. 1 this season.

“Playing off any win gets you momentum,” coach Bobby Clark said. “I always say winning’s a habit and losing’s a habit. The more you win, the more it becomes a habit, and you want to keep that going.”

After dropping out of the national rankings, the Irish are looking to return to the spotlight with an upset win before going on the road for four straight games.

“[The team is] very excited for the game with Connecticut,” Clark said. “This is obviously a big game for us and it’ll be a good test for us. This is a good team coming in … this will be a very good test for us.”

The Irish have been up and down this season, but have not lost since Sept. 25 in a 2-1 home loss to Cincinnati. Their win against Marquette Wednesday improved the team to 7-3-1 (3-2-1 Big East).

Against Marquette, Justin McGeeney marked the only score of the contest. Goalkeeper Chris Cahill recorded his fifth shutout of the season with the 1-0 victory. Clark said that defense was a highlight of the road game.

“Dale [Rellas] and Benny Crouse were superb,” Clark said. “They were the backbone of the team at Marquette. Marquette is a very direct team and a very aerial team, and we had to handle that threat.”

On the offensive side, the Irish had a 10-7 shot advantage, and Cahill recorded two saves.

“A few other people took their leads from [Rellas and Crouse], and I thought Kurt [Martin] had an excellent game,” Clark said. “It really was a team performance, there was nobody who didn’t play well.”

The win gives the Irish some much-needed momentum going into one of the season’s most challenging contests.

“It should be an opportunity for us to really get back into the national prominence,” Clark said. “We’ve been doing well, we’ve been working away but you want to win a couple of big games, and this should be a nice big game and a nice time in the season for us to win.”

The game last year at Connecticut drew more than 5,000 spectators, many of them students. Clark hopes that the game will draw a large performance, especially as most other sports are off or away.

“We play Connecticut, it’s always a huge game,” Clark said.

The team will take the field on Saturday at 7 p.m. With luck, the momentum will keep coming.

“A winning habit’s a pretty good habit to keep,” Clark said.