It’s been quite the roller-coaster week for UConn men’s soccer. The Huskies are 1-1 on the young season, and have shown plenty of promise after a disappointing spring campaign.
On Aug. 27, UConn opened up their fall 2021 campaign with a 3-0 shutout against Bryant. Freshman Okiem Chime got the Huskies rolling with the first two goals, while fellow freshman Mateo Leveque added the third.
UConn outshot Bryant 13-4 but goalkeeper Jahmali White made a point-blank kicksave in the first half, one of his three stops on the night. Sophomores Moussa Wade and Thomas Decottignies were credited in the buildup to Chime’s first goal. Head coach Ray Reid—normally allergic to substitutions, brought in five bench players, including freshman Scott Testori.
The Huskies had a chance for some serious early-season momentum on Friday, but squandered the opportunity against Rhode Island in a 1-0 loss. UConn peppered the Rams with 15 shots but gave up a set piece goal in the 12th minute and couldn’t find an equalizer. They did everything but put the ball in the back of the net. Wade, Chime, and company were robbed by goal line clearances, crossbars, and a Herculean effort from Rams keeper Stefan Schmidt.
I hope someone called 911 last night because @UConnMSOC's Okem Chime was robbed by the #Rhody goalkeeper #UConn pic.twitter.com/kV8nBwLfYn— Ian Bethune (@Ian_Bethune) September 4, 2021
It was a tough result against the regional rival, but there were enough positives to take from the game that fans should remain encouraged. And this is without captain and midfield metronome Felix Metzler, who has sat out the season’s first two games. Transfer Dominic Laws is a constant threat, Chime is a presence up top, there seems to be stability in the back, and there are freshman contributors up and down the roster.
Perhaps most importantly though, the shiny new Joseph J Morrone Stadium at Rizza Performance Center has soccer fans partying like its 2018. The season opener drew 4,212 fans, and Rhode Island’s game brought in 3,141. It’s safe to say the Goal Patrol will be leading the nation in attendance this year.
Next up for UConn is more home cooking; the Huskies take on Monmouth on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. ET.
Larin scores in World Cup Qualifying
With the current team falling in its lone game, a Husky alumnus stole the show over the weekend.
Canadian international Cyle Larin (2013-2014), who plays for Turkish giants Besiktas, scored the equalizer against the U.S. men’s national team Sunday night in World Cup Qualifying. The goal came an agonizing seven minutes after the U.S. scored, devastating a raucous Nashville crowd and ripping the heart out of restless USMNT fans everywhere. Larin has 12 goals in 11 games for Canada in 2021 alone and has now scored in six of his last seven international outings.