The only thing that had a chance at stopping the Huskies from scoring Saturday night was the immense amounts of rain, but even that was not enough, as UConn steamrolled over Cincinnati 5-0. With the victory, the Huskies now sit first in the American Athletic Conference, extending their winning streak to a season best six straight games.
After pouring on five goals against the Bearcats (6-4-1), the Huskies (9-3) have now outscored opponents 15-to-2, over its six-match win streak. UConn has gotten off to an undefeated start in conference play and with the large shutout has sent a message to the rest of the league that the Huskies should be taken seriously. Senior tri-captain, Kwame Awuah, who scored two goals Saturday, commented about the early conference success.
“Our goal this year was to start off strong and that’s what we are doing in the conference. It is important to get the three points every night whether you are home or away,” Awuah said.
The scoring started early in the match, as in the 25th minute, sophomore Abdou Mbacke Thiam was able to finish a loose rebound in the box for his eighth goal of the season. On the play, senior-tri captain Jake Nerwinski and junior Cheikh Stephane Coly earned assists, their fourth and second respectively.
UConn only needed eight minutes to add a second, as senior Sebastian Brems was able to slot home a ten yard shot for his first goal of the 2016 season. In the first half, the Huskies did not allow Cincinnati a shot, while the rain and the constant UConn ball pressure seemed to frustrate the Bearcats.
Looking back at the first half after the game, coach Ray Reid said he was very pleased with his teams deafening performance.
“We were in a good flow; good rhythm and guys were moving the ball. Guys were coming forward there was some great running in the box, first half, we could have had a couple more goals we didn’t get. I just think the guys were very unselfish, fluid and very dangerous,” Reid said.
The Huskies were somehow even been better in the second half, as seven minutes in Awuah added his first goal of the season. Coming into the game, Awuah was tied for eighth in the nation with six assists, but he was able to add two goals. Awuah said he was very pleased with his team’s performance.
“Tonight was a great night, the boys played good and it just clicked,” Awuah said.
UConn’s fourth and fifth goals came in the 59th minute and 67th minute, as sophomore defenseman Simen Olafsen scored a header off a cross right before Awuah added his previously mentioned second goal of the match. Four different goal scorers contributed to UConn’s five goals, outscoring 14-1 in the second half of play in 2016.
Afterleading by five gaols with more than 20 minutes to go, UConn was able to get more players into the game, giving them valuable minutes and experience. Many of the starters were able to rest and watch their fellow teammates play during a long stretch of the game.
“It is always nice for other players who haven’t played so far to come in and support the team, whether it’s on the bench or on the field,” Awuah said.
The Huskies next match is on the road against Yale on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
“We beat Cinci, but now we have to turn towards Yale on Tuesday,” clearly showing, six wins in a row is not enough,” Reid said.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.