Another National Title at UConn in the Fall of 1981 - Men's Soccer

In the 1970's, Joe Morrone and his UConn Men's Soccer Team owned fall weekends on campus. Large, racious crowds would gather at what became Morrone Stadium to watch his team in action. Sunday afternoons crowds between 7-9 thousand were the norm. But there was also plenty of heartache to get over the top between 1973 and 1980 in the NCAA Tournament. A loss each to URI (OT) & Philadelphia Textile...A pair to Brown and three to a tiny school near Cooperstown, NY, Hartwick College, who beat the winningest team in UConn history 1-0 in OT in the 1980 NCAA's. That UConn team went 21-2-1.

1981 was expected to be another successful season, but the Huskies needed to replace the programs all time leading scorer, Joe Morrone, Jr...They used a double headed monster of Elvis Comrie (15g-16a) and All American Pedro DeBrito (15g-20a) and another Morrone to anchor the team, Billy...

at 15-2, the Huskies hosted Alabama A&M in Storrs and the teams played to a 1-1 draw. That was followed by a 3-2 at Penn St, a 4-3 loss at Philadelphia Textile and a scoreless draw at URI. The Huskies entered the NCAA's at 16-3-2...And opened the tourney in Storrs, where they manhandled Vermont 6-2. Now the game they've been stuck on in previous years, the quarterfinals...LIU-Brooklyn the opponent and the Huskies took care of business with a 3-0 win to reach the College Cup Final Four at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA...

Eastern Illinois up first in the Semi's, a 2-1 victory...Then a second meeting with Alabama A&M in the final. Billy Morrone scored the equalizer in the second half...And once again like they did in Storrs, onto OT tied 1-1. Morrone got shaken up in the extra session, but the All Americans DeBrito and Comrie helped stem the tied with a great defensive performance from back Eric Myren, who was named the game MVP on ESPN.

Comrie and DeBrito played the ball left to right in the attacking third and swug it to Carlos Carlos on the wing. He made a wonderful individual play to get the ball to James Lyman, who in turn played a cross into the box. Where a streaking Jim D'Orsanso split a double team with a header into the upper right and corner of the goal to secure a 2-1, sudden death win for the Championship. A pig pile ensued and yes, Coach Morrone was a part of it, after so many near misses,

His 82 and 83 teams reached the Final Four, both ending with Semi-Final Losses. And his teams played in 5 more NCAA's thru 1989, only to find more heartache. But the 1981 team, led by a talented duo and plenty of depth, finally reached the summit and won a title for Joe Morrone..

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