UConn Men's Soccer kicked off their 2015 season Friday night by hosting the St. Francis Terriers at Morrone Stadium. The game was sluggish, deadlocked in a scoreless tie after regulation. After two uneventful 10-minute overtime periods the game ended in a tie.
UConn dominated possession throughout, and had a marked advantage in corner kicks, shots and scoring chances, but couldn't put one in the net. St. Francis had one good chance early in the second half, but M/F Leonard Kirschner's shot flew wide right after he beat his man in space on the counter attack.
UConn had eight corner kicks after regulation, adding four more in overtime, and had multiple scoring chances through the course of play, while St. Francis never took a set piece of any type. The Huskies finished the game with a 9-5 advantage in shots with no serious challenge to UConn goalie Scott Levene.
The Huskies' dominance continued into overtime, only giving way to a few optimistic St. Francis counter-attacks. Time after time UConn had developed solid chances at or near the net, but failed to capitalize. The Terriers had a few chances to pull off the unlikely upset with a goal, but played back most of the overtime as though they were playing for the tie.
Captains Jake Nerwinski and midfielder Kwame Awuah were the primary playmakers for the Huskies. The pair of juniors engineered most of UConn's chances, but unfortunately nothing found its way to the back of the net. Senior midfielder Nick Zuniga had a couple of the Huskies' better scoring chances off the bench, including a 25-yard shot which St. Francis goalkeeper Jack "Jar-Jar" Binks had to dive to save. Alex Sanchez gave a few teammates a chance to put one in the net off a free kick just outside the box, but nobody was able to get to it.
There were a lot of missed opportunities for the Huskies-- it was a game which they probably should have won. Hopefully Ray Reid and his squad will find ways to get the ball towards the net more often and be more assertive offensively.
In addition to the disappointing tie, UConn also suffered a big blow on the injury front as sophomore Dylan Greenberg, one of the best players on the team, left the game with an apparent collarbone injury. The severity of the injury is still uncertain, but it is believed to be pretty serious.
UConn's season will continue on Monday when they host Quinnipiac at 7pm at Morrone Stadium.