Men’s Soccer: Huskies fall 1-0 to conference leader SMU

In this file photo, UConn men's soccer junior defender Jakob Nerwinski dribbles away from a Quinnipac player during the Huskies' game at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Connecticut on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

In this file photo, UConn men's soccer junior defender Jakob Nerwinski dribbles away from a Quinnipac player during the Huskies' game at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Connecticut on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s soccer team (3-4-4) lost its second road conference match of the season Saturday to the SMU Mustangs (9-2-2) by a final score of 1-0. 

Mustang sophomore forward Mauro Cichero scored his team-best eighth goal of the season in the 51st minute on a header off a set ball from teammate Jared Rice.

The Huskies had a couple scoring opportunities early in the game, but they were not able to finish them. Redshirt senior midfielder Tyler Leeman received a ball in stride in the third minute of play but the Mustang defense collapsed on him before he was able to get off a one-timer. 

UConn junior co-captain Jake Nerwinski also had an opportunity to tie the game for the Huskies midway through the first half, but his shot deflected off the post and was slapped away by SMU goalkeeper Michael Nelson. 

UConn red-shirt sophomore midfielder Alex Sanchez also had a opportunity for an equalizer the 61st minute on a penalty kick. Sanchez, however, could not capitalize. He sailed the ball over the cross bar.

Sanchez had another opportunity to tie the game with ten minutes left in the match, but his shot was once again stopped by the Mustang backline.

Saturday marked the sixth time the Huskies have been unable to register a goal this season. 

“We want it so bad,” Awuah said after the Dartmouth game. “We just need composure in front of the net, and hopefully our strikers can put it in. At the end of the day, it is a results business.”

SMU also had a couple scoring opportunities of their own in Saturday’s match that did not fall their way. Red-shirt junior midfielder Brenden Lee had a one-timer blocked inthe 22nd minute of play blocked by several Huskies.  

SMU finished the game with a 17-11 shot edge over the Huskies. UConn now drops to 6-2-0 all time against SMU in a series that dates back to 1983.

UConn will continue their road trip on Tuesday when they travel to Kentucky to take on the Louisville Cardinals. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.


Eddie Leonard is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn men's soccer. He tweets @EddieLeonard23.