Rams' Season Ends in NCAA First Round, with 4-3 OT Loss to UConn

Photo Credit: Stew Milne
Photo Credit: Stew Milne

Starters: Penske (GK), Karterud, Kristiansen, Middrup, Benco, Zarokostas, Richter, Jesman Sunde, Dickson, Brangman, Daley
Substitutes: Cook, Trcka, Akselsen

Starters: Catalano (GK), Hauser-Ramsey, Harris, Greenberg, Metzler, Diop, Yeates, Thiam, Saleh, N'Gague, Lapert
Substitutes: Venner, Burgess

Scoring Summary
33:24 – UCONN – Thiam (Harris)
37:00 – URI – Dickson (Kristiansen)
39:12 – URI – Dickson (Richter)
52:23 – URI – Brangman (Zarokostas)
75:54 – UCONN – Diop (Venner) 
79:32 – UCONN – Diop (Metzler)
99:27 – UCONN – Diop (Thiam)

How It Happened
Connecticut freshman Ibrahima Diop scored on a header in overtime to lift the Huskies to a 4-3 victory over Rhode Island in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday afternoon at UConn's Rentschler Field.

Rhode Island led by two goals with a little more than 15 minutes remaining, but Diop spurred the comeback. The UConn freshman, who had scored just one goal entering the day, found the back of the net twice in span of 3:38 to tie the game at 3-3. He then scored the game-winner 8:57 into overtime.
The Huskies got the first goal of the day when Abdou Mbacke Thiam headed in a corner kick from Dayonn Harris in the 34th minute. 

Rhode Island evened the score moments later, on a corner kick of its own. Tyler Dickson got above the UConn defense and headed in the service from Peder Kristiansen exactly 37 minutes into the game. Dickson struck again two minutes later, this time burying a corner from Dominik Richter to put the Rams up, 2-1.   

Rhode Island padded its lead early in the second half when Stavros Zarkostas fought off a UConn defender and centered a pass to Chae Brangman, who one-timed a shot past Gianluca Catalano. The 53rd-minute goal gave Rhody a 3-1 lead.

The Huskies got one back in the 76th minute when Diop scored off a crossing pass from Cole Venner to make it a 3-2 game. Diop then evened it up on an 80th-minute breakaway to set up overtime, where he completed the hat trick.

With the win, UConn advances to face second-seeded Indiana on Sunday afternoon.

Inside the Box Score

  • Graduate senior Tyler Dickson scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season. All six of his goals were via headers.
  • Senior Chae Brangman's goal was his seventh of the season. 
  • Rhode Island had six shots on goal in the first half, while Connecticut had just one. In the second half and overtime, UConn had an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal.
  • Senior Dominik Richter, junior Stavros Zarokostas and junior Peder Kristiansen each had one assist. For Kristiansen, it was his team-leading eighth assist of the season. 
  • Rhode Island is now 5-11-2 all time in the NCAA Tournament.