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UConn Men’s Soccer Opens Season With Win

UConn Men’s Soccer scored two in the first half to beat Iona, 3-1 in its first game of the season.

Nkosi Burgess Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn men’s soccer had a rough start last year. They drew their first three matches and did not score a goal until their fourth. This season, they did not wait nearly as long.

Less than a minute into the game, UConn scored their first goal of the season and were able to withstand a quick counter from the Iona Gael to take 3-1 victory. Abdou Mbacke Thiam, Alex Sanchez and Nkosi Burgess scored the goals for the Huskies, while Scott Levene saved four shots.

Dylan Greenberg had a great game from the back end, making things happen on the offensive side of the ball. He almost scored on a shot from the top of the 18-yard box, but he was only able to find the side of the net. UConn held the shot advantage, 13-to-5. The Huskies also led the corner battle with six. Iona was only able to have two.

In the first minute, Kwame Awuah had an interception right at midfield and was able to find Thiam streaking down the field. Ball found net 57 seconds into the game, but UConn’s lead would not last long.

In the fourth minute, UConn did not defend a throw-in well and Daniel Huertas caught Levene way off his line and was able to get his shot over him to tie the game.

Levene rebounded well and made two very good saves in the first half, with all three of Iona’s first half shots coming on target.

The Huskies were also able to finish the first half how they started- by scoring a goal. In the 45th minute, Stephane Cheikh Coly found Alex Sanchez on the left wing, and Sanchez was able to cut to the inside and fire a shot off that deflected off an Iona defender for the goal, coming 11 seconds before the end of the half.

The Huskies continued to play well through the second half, when Iona seemed to tire. Iona only had two shots during the second half, both of which were saved by Levene.

It was also a chippy half, with each team committing five fouls and each team receiving a yellow card.

In the 80th minute, UConn struck again. Jake Nerwinski sent a cross in to Nkoski Burgess and he buried the insurance goal to put the Huskies up, 3-1.