The season of struggles continued for the UConn men’s soccer team. The Huskies suffered their second straight overtime defeat earlier today, falling to future Big East rival Providence 2-1 despite fighting back to equalize in the second half. UConn falls to 3-7-1 on the year. Junior tri-captain Robin Lapert picked up his second goal of the season, while junior Ziyad Fekri netted his first assist.
The first half could only be described as a slog, with UConn mustering just one or two solid chances. Set pieces doomed UConn once more in the 30th minute, with Providence scoring on a well-struck corner into UConn’s upper left 90. The Friars enjoyed large spells of possession most of the half, and pinged the ball around without much Husky interference.
UConn knotted things in the 49th minute, finally finding some set piece magic of their own. After increased activity in Providence’s third, Fekri’s in-swinging corner kick found Lapert’s head, giving the Huskies new life.
The struggling side desperately needed that goal after going almost 180 minutes without one. You could just see the weight fall off the team’s shoulders in their ensuing play. What followed was some spirited, physical defending against a ramped up Friar push. Providence was knocking on the door for the rest of the half, but timely blocks from UConn’s backline and Gigi Catalano kept the regional rivals at bay in regulation.
UConn’s third straight overtime lasted all of 77 seconds though as Providence’s first buildup generated a tap-in past Catalano. It was another crushing blow in a season so far rife them.
- It looked like Dayonn Harris played a more advanced role up top in the second half. It’s clear Ray Reid is looking to get his most talented creator in advantageous spots around the field, trying to spring him lose. But without strike partner Jordan Hall, Harris needs help.
- Ahdan Tait showed some versatility today, logging time in the middle. That’s a positive sign going forward, because fullbacks Fekri and Thomas Decottignies continue to impress on the flanks.
- When things were tied and UConn was defending with spirit, you could start to make out the team’s identity for the rest of the year. Without Hall, they might have to scrape out wins by defending as a unit, and taking chances on counters and set pieces.
- Up next, UConn travels to the nastiest of —nati’s at 7:00 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 12, to take on the University of Cincinnati.