It took almost four weeks, but UConn men’s soccer is finally back in the win column. The Huskies dispatched the University of Cincinnati 2-0 Saturday night, picking up their first conference win. It was also the Huskies’ first road victory since Sept. 3.
In a chilly and chippy affair, tri-captain Felix Metzler scored his second goal of the year, sophomore Ibrahima Diop opened his account for 2019, and sophomore keeper Gianluca Catalano earned his second clean sheet of the season. The Huskies now hold a 4-7-1 record.
There are stretches where you watch this squad and wonder why they have the record that they do. There are pretty spells of possession and deliberate attacking up top. But then, there are mental lapses such as missing markers, failing to convert easy passes, or questionable shot selection that remind you of the team’s inconsistency. They got the win in this one, but it was not as easy as the score might indicate.
The first half came and went without any goals, but things heated up in the second half. Cincinnati committed a handball in its box on a set piece in the 75th minute. Metzler stepped up to the spot and converted.
Despite the lead, Cincinnati continued to threaten, with several chances coming off defensive breakdowns in UConn’s defensive third. But the Huskies doubled their lead roughly 15 minutes later in the 89th minute, after Dayonn Harris found Diop in the middle. Diop took two cuts to find space and then slotted it home. The sophomore certainly earned it after logging four shots on the game and consistently finding himself in the right spots. It was Harris’ ninth assist on the season, which puts him tied for first in the country.
- For his efforts, Catalano earned his first AAC Goalkeeper of the Week honors. He finished with six saves in the last two games, including a point-blank stop on Saturday off a scrum in the game’s later stages.
- Junior Robin Lapert joined Catalano on the weekly honor roll, garnering Defensive Player of the Week status.
- UConn will get a chance to build on the result Tuesday, Oct. 15 when the Huskies head up to Syracuse to take on the Orange.