UConn men’s soccer played its final regular season match at a frigid Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on Tuesday and got a 2-0 Halloween night win over Yale to end a three-match losing streak.
Abdou Mbacke Thiam was all over the field, scoring a goal and notching an assist.
“He was energized tonight. He understands this is a critical time of the year,” head coach Ray Reid said.
UConn played a strong first half, holding possession through much of the first 45 minutes and creating better opportunities on the attack. In the game, the Huskies held a 12-to-8 edge in shots, with more dangerous chances at the net and a dominant 8-to-3 corner kick advantage.
“I thought our guys did a great job of moving the ball,” Reid said.
After a few chances went by the wayside, including a nice shot to the bottom left corner on a free kick by Mbacke Thiam in the 19th minute, the Huskies scored first in the 21st.
Dylan Greenberg had a little space on a give-and-go inside the 18-yard box, but he was taken down, earning a penalty shot.
Mbacke Thiam took the penalty and went low to the left side. Yale goaltender Andrew Bortey guessed incorrectly and UConn took the lead.
The Huskies almost doubled their lead in the 35th minute, again off the foot of Mbacke Thiam, but his spinning shot from the penalty spot was saved by Bortey.
Yale had the first real chances to score in the second half. Scott Levene made one of his two saves on the night on a Nicky Downs shot from the left side of the goal just inside the goal line in the 55th minute. On the ensuing corner, Kyle Kenagy’s shot on the volley went wide right.
UConn made it a two-goal game in the 58th minute off the foot of Petridis. He scored on a breakaway assisted by Mbacke Thiam.
The Huskies almost got another in the 60th minute, but Bortey made two great saves, one on Mbacke Thiam on a cross from Nicolas Apostol and the other on Chiekh Stephane Coly on the rebound, so the score remained at 2-0.
“We’re trying to get them to keep getting aggressive,” Reid said of the way his team kept its foot on the gas.
UConn (8-6-2) takes on SMU in the final regular season match on Saturday. It will also determine the winner of the American Athletic Conference regular-season title. Kickoff is at 9:30 p.m. in Dallas.