Men's Soccer: UConn's offensive struggles continue against Quinnipiac

Junior Kwame Awuah (right) dribbles away from a Quinnipiac player at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on Aug. 31, 2015. Awuah provided most of the Huskies' offensive life, firing three shots and nearly scoring. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut men’s soccer team (0-0-2) recorded their second straight two OT draw of the season Monday night against the Quinnipiac Bobcats (0-0-2) in front of a sold out crowd at Morrone stadium. The Huskies have been unable to find the net through the first two games of the 2015-16 season.

Early on it looked like the Huskies may have found a cure to last game’s offensive woes when freshman forward Abdou Thiam led his teammate Fredrik Jonsson with a beautiful through pass about 15 yards out. However Bobcat goalkeeper and former Husky, Triston Henry, came out and made a diving play on the ball.

“We thought we were the better team,” UConn junior Kwame Awuah said. “Fans come to see goals, but we have to give the strikers time.”

UConn’s first half play on Monday mirrored their Friday night game against St. Francis. The Huskies struggled on offense while still maintaining a shot advantage in the match. The Huskies held the Bobcats to zero shots through the first 20 minutes of play.

We thought we were the better team. Fans come to see goals, but we have to give the strikers time.
— UConn junior midfielder Kwame Awuah, on the Huskies' offensive struggles.

The Bobcats didn’t get their first shot on net until the 28th minute when freshman defender Oscar Evans crossed the ball into the middle from 30 yards out to teammate Colton Grobb. Grobb headed the ball to Bobcat midfielder James Greco who sent the ball over the cross bar and out of play.

The Bobcats were not able to penetrate the UConn defense for the remainder of the half, leaving the Huskies with a 4-1 shot advantage.

Awuah almost sparked fire three times for the Huskies in the second half. The first two shots were crisp left footed boots from about 25 yards out. The first attempt came in the 51st minute after Awuah ran alongside the entire box before switching to his left leg and firing a low shot to the bottom right hand corner.

However, it was Awuah’s third attempt that was UConn’s closest and most frustrating moment of the evening. Awuah’s junior teammate Jakob Nerwinski found him all alone in the middle and Awuah missed the net at point blank range with three minutes left in regulation.

“I didn’t know how much time I had,” Awuah said. “I should have looked up and taken my time and perhaps the game would have been over.”

UConn has yet to score a goal in the 220 minutes played this season. They are in desperate need for some help from their strikers on the offensive end.

“We have to get better in order to win games,” said UConn head coach Ray Reid. “We have a lot of new guys. I don’t want to blame the strikers. They were not the ones missing the bunnies. The goals are not my biggest concern. The fitness is my concern. The goals will come.”

UConn is scheduled to host their third game of the season this Friday at 7 p.m. against Dartmouth.


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