New England Soccer Today

NCAA Preview: UConn-New Mexico

If Connecticut (16-3-1) is intent on exercising some postseason demons at Morrone Stadium on Sunday (kickoff at 1pm), they’re doing well not to advertise it.

Instead of treating their matchup against New Mexico (17-3-1) as another opportunity to erase their recent NCAA tournament hijinx, the fourth-seeded Huskies are approaching it as they would a typical, regular season game.

“I would say (it’s) the same pressure as any game before this,” Huskies’ defender Jossimar Sanchez told the school’s website. “Our mentality is to play every game like it is our last and each game has a significant importance. It is tournament time and we are just trying to get through Sunday to get the opportunity to play one more game.”

On the other side of the pitch, the Lobos are hoping that there’s more than one game left in their remarkable campaign, which saw them score 52 goals, second-best in the nation.

One of the keys: breaking through Connecticut’s suffocating defense, which allowed a miniscule 0.5 goals per game in 2012.

“They have excellent attacking players, they’re strong defensively and like to play,” Lobos head coach Jeremy Fishbein told the school’s website. “I think it’s a pretty intriguing match-up. It’s a matter of, like every game, who can defend and whose attacking players can put the ball in the net.”

Regardless of how Sunday’s match pans out, the Huskies hope that previous tournament heartbreaks have taught them the lessons needed to attain their first championship since 2000.

“If anything, its an experience we can look back on and learn from,” Huskies’ defender Max Wasserman told the school’s website. “We have guys that have played in many elimination games before, we are just excited to prove ourselves once and for all.”

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