UConn Men’s Soccer got a much-needed bounce back win over Cornell, 2-0, on Monday evening at Morrone Stadium. The first half went by uneventfully, but the Huskies produced in a strong second to claim victory.
Andrew Geres (67th minutes) and Nick Zuniga (72nd minute) were the goal-scorers while goaltender Scott Levene had three saves in the shutout effort.
Kwame Awuah was heavily involved in the offense as well, taking a team-high five shots, three of which were on target and two of which bounced off the post.
“He was good today,” Coach Reid said.
Aside from a flurry of UConn chances in a 15-minute stretch in the middle portion of the first half, both teams struggled to create offensive opportunities. Each goalkeeper only had to make one save in the half and neither was particularly difficult.
UConn’s best chance to score in the opening half came in the 29th minute when a Kwame Awuah free kick taken from about 40 yards from goal went far post and found a sliding Jacob Hauser. His shot went just wide, however, and the first half ended in a scoreless tie.
It was a much different story in the second half, as the UConn attack got going early and often. In the 48th minute, Alex Sanchez had a shot from about 25 yards out, but he too was wide. Just two minutes later, Awuah had a shot from the top of the 18-yard box and the Cornell keeper went full extension to keep it out of the goal.
The Huskies kept knocking at goal. Awuah had a free kick on the edge of the 18-yard box, sending sent it across the goal but couldn’t find a finisher. Two minutes later, Sanchez forced a turnover at midfield and put the ball on Nick Zuniga’s foot. His curling shot was just outside the corner, however, to preserve the scoreless tie.
In the 67th minute, Kwame Awuah had a free kick to the right of goal and put it off the crossbar. It found Andrew Geres off the bounce and he put it in for his third career goal.
Five minutes later, the Huskies came through again. In the 72nd minute, Sebastian Brems came streaking down the right side and got the goalkeeper to go to the ground. He sent the ball across to Zuniga, who he put it in the net through traffic to give UConn a comfortable cushion late in the game.
“Brems made a great penetrating run through the defense,” Zuniga said. “He was able to shift the keeper and put me in a spot where I could have an open goal.”
The Huskies had a chance to add to its lead in the 80th minute when Zuniga was pulled down from behind inside the 18-yard box, but the keeper guessed right on Awuah’s penalty shot. UConn is 1-for-3 on penalties this year.
UConn (3-1-0) next begins a crucial two-game road trip that begins on Saturday against No. 24 Georgetown. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.