The UConn men’s soccer team will attempt to win their seventh-straight game of the season and their 40th all-time against Yale this Tuesday when they travel to New Haven in a non-conference Connecticut showdown. This series dates all the way back to 1935, as UConn (-3) owns a 39-26-4 mark, including a 1-0 victory over Yale last year at Morrone Stadium.
After winning 5-0 over conference foe Cincinnati at home on Saturday, the Huskies are on a roll as they have outscored opponents by a 15-2 margin during the streak. According to the weekly TopDrawerSoccer.com poll, UConn now sits at No. 13 in the nation, a five-spot increase from last week.
The Bulldogs (1-4-2) have been shut out in all four losses on the season and have been outscored by a margin of 14-7. At home, they have a 1-1 record as they have not played at home since Sept. 17.
As a result of Yale’s early season struggles, team’s would have a tendency to overlook this game and move on to the next one, but the Huskies are focused and locked in.
“Tuesday is like a little trap game. We have to make sure we stay focused and we have to really get that win to keep rolling, keep our confidence up and move into Saturday with our heads up,” captain Jake Nerwinski said.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs offense is Nicky Downs, who has recorded a team high four assists and one goal, which is tied for second on the team. The team as a whole has mustered a measly .113 shot percentage and 8.9 shots per game.
The last three matches between the two teams have been one goal games, all in UConn’s favor, as Yale has showed the tendency to play the Huskies very tight.
“Yale is never an easy game. It has always been 1-0 since I have been a freshman,” midfielder Kwame Awuah said. “It’s not going to be easy with have to go in there with the same mentality and keep doing the little things… we have to get Tuesday and move on.”
Statistically for the Huskies, sophomore standout Abdou Mbacke Thiam leads the team with eight goals and 19 points, while Awuah is tied for eighth in the nation with six assists. As a team, UConn is 20th in the nation with a .63 goals against average as redshirt junior goalkeeper Scott Levene and the Husky defense have recorded fourth-straight clean sheets.
Head coach Ray Reid is looking forward to this new chapter in the rivalry between the two in-state rivals.
“We need to be focused; it’s a midweek game between two conference games on the road…it’s going to be a difficult one goal grit it out game,” Reid said.
The game will start at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN3 with radio coverage on WHUS 91.7 FM.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.