UConn men’s soccer suffered their first setback since September 13, losing to the USF Bulls 1-0 on Saturday night at Morrone Stadium. Not only did the loss break UConn’s seven-game winning streak, the first half goal by USF broke the shut out streak the Huskies had held at 479:20.
The loss means UConn now shares the top of the standings with both Cincinnati, who beat Temple, and USF. The Bull the tiebreaker over the Huskies by virtue of their win.
“I think we need to come up more clinical in the box,” forward Kwame Awuah said. “We had chances in the end. We need to take our chances and be calm.”
Scott Levene faced two shots on target, making one save.
The first half was not the one the Huskies wanted. They led in shots on goal, 5-to-3, and held an advantage in possession, but they were down on the scoreboard.
In the 22nd minute, USF took the lead after a few early chances from the Huskies.
Melvin Becket took a feed from Ricardo Gomez, who took the free kick from Lindo Mefka. Becket put it in the back of the net to put the Bulls on the board.
UConn hadn’t allowed a goal since the 83rd minute against Rhode Island on September 21, a streak of 479:20.
The Huskies also had not trailed in a match since Notre Dame potted their game-winning goal in the second half of overtime on September 13, which broke a streak of 652:40.
“We gave up one mistake and we lost,” Jake Nerwinski said. “It’s that simple.”
UConn responded well, getting a few chances. The best one came in the 29th minute, when Awuah was fouled hard coming down the left side, earning a free kick. He was slow to get up and was limping around for a few minutes after the foul.
However, the half ended with a scoreline of 1-0 in favor of USF.
The Huskies dominated the second half with chances, but were unable to get the equalizer to send the game to overtime.
UConn held the ball for a large portion of the second half and spent a large majority of that time in the offensive third, but the Bulls’ defense held strong.
USF was content to keep nine of their 10 field players behind the ball and defend Husky chance after Husky chance.
“We just tried to do what we’ve been doing and tried to be positive,” Awuah said.
UConn had three corners in the second half, to USF’s zero. The Huskies took three shots in the second half and did not allow USF to have any.
UConn men’s soccer (10-4-0) will look to get back to their winning ways on Tuesday night against Boston College. The Eagles and Huskies will kick off at 7:00 p.m. at Morrone Stadium.