The UConn men’s soccer team will attempt to end its six-game winless streak Saturday night at home against UCF.
The Huskies (3-5-4) enter Saturday’s matchup fresh off 2-1 road loss to the Louisville Cardinals. UConn’s Tyler Leeman scored the team’s lone goal in the 26th minute when he fired a shot to the near right post from six yards out. Junior co-captain Jake Nerwinski and freshman forward Fredrik Jonsson were credited with assists.
However, Louisville’s Ricardo Oliveros scored the go-ahead goal when the game was knotted at one goal each in the 71st minute of play. Oliveros recorded his first collegiate goal on a snipe from 12 yards out that sailed past UConn goalkeeper Scott Levene. The lack of scoring has continued to haunt the Huskies this season.
The Knights (5-6-1) also head into Saturday riding an emotional rollercoaster. They rallied from a one-goal deficit for the second time in three games to defeat the Stetson Hatters on Tuesday.
UCF’s Matias Pyysalo notched the game-winner and his fifth goal of the season on a strike from 21 yards out that was set up by a Hatters foul in the 67th minute.
"I am proud of how the guys rebounded after a difficult loss against Tulsa on Saturday," said UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham after the win. "After going down a goal, the team showed its resiliency by battling back, tying the game, wining it in the second half and having multiple chances to make it 3-1 or 4-1. Their fight was spectacular.”
UConn and UCF have both struggled in conference play to start the 2015 season. UConn has yet to record a win against an American Athletic Conference opponent, standing at 0-3-1 on the year. UCF (1-2-1) has had a little more success, with just a 3-1 win over Temple on Oct. 7. The Knights are in fifth place in the conference, trailing first-place SMU (4-0) and USF (4-0) by a sizeable amount.
Both teams have a long way to go if they want to make a postseason run. Saturday’s game will be an important game as the season comes to a close. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Morrone Stadium.