UConn Men’s Soccer reached the end of its American Athletic Tournament run after one match, losing 2-0 to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
UConn was scoreless for the third time in its last six matches, and winless in its last four (0-1-3).
Goalkeeper Scott Levene had four saves on the evening in a typical UConn match where there were multiple chances to score, but the Huskies couldn’t get their shots on goal.
In the beginning of the match, the sun was a factor. Players from both teams were shielding their eyes and as a result, neither team was able to mount much of an attack.
Dylan Greenberg played very well on defense for UConn. Tulsa spent much of the first half attacking his side and Greenberg was up to the task, making tackle after tackle to keep the Golden Hurricane offense at bay.
Coincidentally, as the sun went in, the attack came out. Kay Duit held the ball at midfield in the 11th minute and sent the ball to Juan Sanchez, who was able to hold off three UConn defenders before getting his shot off from the left side, just inside the box. He elected to go across the goal and his shot got by Levene and snuck inside the far post for a 1-0 Golden Hurricane lead.
The Huskies responded well to the goal, mounting a better offensive attack in the middle stages of the half. They had a few chances on long throw-ins, utilizing Andrew Geres’ strong arm to get the ball into the box when throws came close to the end line.
The best of these chances came in the 26th minute, with a Geres throw from the far side that came all the across the goal mouth. Abdou Mbacke Thiam could not get the ball on goal and the Huskies remained down by a goal heading into the half.
UConn led in shots, 8-to-3, but each side got two shots on target during the first 45 minutes.
The second half started with a bit of fireworks.
Duit was on the back of Jake Nerwinski and grabbed him as he was getting rid of the ball. Nerwinski responded in kind with an elbow to the cheek. Play was stopped for a moment while everything was sorted out and each of the players received a yellow card.
Tulsa dominated play in the beginning of the second half, and they put the final nail in the UConn coffin in the 62nd minute.
Sanchez and Rollie Rocha had a nice give and go, with Sanchez sending a through ball to Matthew Puig. He settled the bouncing ball and beat Levene inside the near post for a 2-0 Tulsa lead, a lead that would hold for the remainder of the game.
UConn (11-7-1, 3-4-1) awaits their NCAA Tournament fate. The selection show is on Monday at 1:00 p.m. on NCAA.com.