[ELITE 8]Virginia Tech pulled the biggest upset of the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament quarterfinals with a 1-0 victory over No. 3 seed Connecticut Saturday afternoon before 5,495 fans in Storrs, Conn. The Huskies took a 17-game home winning streak into the game, but bad field conditions and bad luck conspired to knock them out. Instead, Virginia Tech is heading to the Men's College Cup this weekend in Cary. N.C.
Despite the efforts of volunteers who worked into the middle of the night, the Morrone Stadium field turned to mud Saturday afternoon when the temperatures warmed after Friday night's snowfall.
Ghanaian star Patrick Nyarko scored for Virginia Tech in the 22nd minute when he weaved between a pair of Huskie defenders and delivered a 20-yard grounder that hit the far post and rolled into the goal past UConn goalie Josh Ford, who was unable to cut off Nyarko in the mud.
The goal came when Giant Englishman Robert Edmans, who was starting for the first time in the NCAA Tournament, flicked Markus Aigner's goal kick forward to Nyarko.
"When the ball was sent to the middle of the field by Edmans," Nyarko said. "I saw the opportunity because the defender didn't go for the ball, and it was a great flick by Edmans. I just kept my head down and tried to get the ball past the goalie."
UConn entered the game as the second highest-scoring team in the country with 53 goals, but it couldn't score against a determined Virginia Tech defense, which limited the Huskies to four shots in the first half.
"We took a 1-0 lead into halftime and that was huge," said Virginia Tech coach "We played a top-ranked team at home where they hadn't lost," Hokies coach Oliver Weiss said. "We built on that confidence and momentum. At the end of the day, it was a great win for our program. We have another match and that's what it's all about this time of year."
Dec. 8 in Storrs, Conn.
Connecticut 0 Virginia Tech 1.Goal: Nyarko (Edmans) 22.
Connecticut --Ford, King, James, Watson-Siriboe, Castillo, Pezza, Priestley, Stahl, Arad, Cordeiro, White. Subs: Nicklaw, Chijindu.
Virginia Tech -- Aigner, Baden, Zegender, Shupp, Reed, B.Collier, Spangler, Nason, Campbell, Nyarko, Edmans. Subs: Hock, Gilson.