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UConn Men’s Soccer Defeats Tulsa, 1-0

The Huskies grab their fifth consecutive win after handling a scare at the end.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn Men’s Soccer takes its fifth consecutive win and starts off conference play with two wins after a 1-0 road win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Andrew Geres scored the goal, but goalkeeper Scott Levene played the hero, making five saves, including multiple big ones late in the match to hold on.

The goal was Geres’ third of the year. Abdou Mbacke Thiam notched the assist, his second on the season.

The first half was very back and forth. One team would maintain possession for a decent amount of time and then the other would do the same. The Huskies led on shots, 5-to-2 and also led in shots on target, 2-to-1. Each team had two corner kicks.

UConn got its first good chance in the 20th minute when Abdou Mbacke Thiam had a breakaway chance with a defender right on his back. The defender forced his shot to to high and wide, preserving the scoreless tie.

In the 31st minute, Mbacke Thiam took a shot from the left side. Tulsa goalie Jake McGuire made the initial save but the rebound went right to Geres, who knocked it in to put UConn ahead 1-0.

Levene kept the Huskies in the lead. At the front of the 18-yard box, he made a scrambling save on a loose ball in the 46th minute. In the 47th, he made a fabulous diving save on a rocket of a shot to preserve the lead.

Both teams settled in after that until the 72nd minute when Levene saved the day again. There was a scramble in front of goal where he made multiple saves. The sequence ended with Lesley Nchanji taking a shot from the right side that went wide from a sharp angle.

The end of the match contained more drama. Tulsa was awarded a penalty off of a corner and Rollie Rocha took it. He went high and to the left and converted, but a Tulsa player was inside the 18-yard box, which meant the game-tying goal didn’t count and Tulsa would have to re-kick. He went to the left again, but the shot was low and Levene guessed correctly.

Tulsa had a lot of pressure over the last 15 minutes of the game, but the UConn defense was up to the task.

UConn’s (8-3-0, 2-0-0) next match is against another conference foe, Cincinnati. They play on Saturday at Morrone Stadium. Kickoff comes at 7:00 p.m.