Men’s Soccer: UConn looks to avoid fourth straight loss against Cincinnati

UConn junior midfielder Kwame Awuah brings the ball down during the Huskies' game against Memphis at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Connecticut on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s soccer team (3-3-3) hopes to avoid their fourth straight loss as they prepare to host the Cincinnati Bearcats (6-4-1) tonight at 7 p.m. at Joseph Morrone Stadium.

UConn heads into today’s game riding a three-game losing streak. The Huskies' most recent loss came at the hands of Memphis in double overtime on Saturday night. Memphis sophomore forward Chandler Klemm notched his first goal of the 2015 season in the 105th minute of play, which sent the Huskies home heartbroken on a chilly night in Storrs.

“We had plenty of chances in the first half,” said UConn head coach Ray Reid after the game. “We can’t let them hang around in the game the way they did. We had plenty of opportunities. If you do bury them they come back to haunt you like they did tonight. We have to do better finishing off all of the things that we are creating.” 

The Huskies have not been able to capitalize on goal scoring opportunities this season. They have outplayed, outhustled and even outshot opponents but they cannot punch the ball in the net.     

The Bearcats on the other hand have had a little more success on the offensive end. As a team, Cincinnati averages 1.64 goals per game. Senior midfielder Alejandro Garcia leads the Bearcats’ offense. Garcia enters Wednesday with a team-best seven goals through 11 matches. 
    
UConn’s struggling offense will be the biggest source of concern for Reid and the Huskies as they look to capitalize on the porous Bearcats defense. Cincinnati yields 1.73 goals per game to opponents. 

The matchup will be an excellent mid-season test for both teams. Cincinnati currently sits in third place in the American with a (1-0-1) record in conference play. UConn is in last place with an (0-2) record in conference play. 

This game is a must win for the Huskies if they want to be in contention down the road. They cannot afford a third straight conference loss, especially when there are still four teams that have not yet lost a conference game (SMU, USF, Cincinnati, Memphis).

Wednesday’s game will be the seventh time the two programs have met since 1998. Both teams currently hold a (2-2-2) record in the series. The last time they met was in 2014. The match ended in a 0-0 double overtime draw.

A loss for UConn tonight will be particularly significant since it marks Reid’s first four-game losing streak


Eddie Leonard is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He tweets@EddieLeonard23.