Following a huge home victory over Loyola (Maryland) this past weekend, the UConn Huskies men’s soccer team went on the road Wednesday night to take on the University of Rhode Island Rams in the hopes of starting another winning streak.
The Huskies’ first chance of the night came on an 11th minute corner by captain Kwame Awuah, whose cross was just cleared by the URI defense. Just two minutes later, UConn would snatch the lead, as sophomore forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam took a pass from Alex Sanchez and beat the Rams’ keeper for the game’s opening goal. Sanchez earned his first assist of the year on the play, which was Thiam’s fifth of the season and 16th of his young career, over 27 matches.
The Huskies had a few more chances throughout the first half, including a 25th minute blast by Awuah that went just over the crossbar. Thiam would have another chance of his own in the 57th minute, but his shot went wide left of the goal.
UConn would not be denied their insurance goal, however, as captain Jake Nerwinski cut into the box from the right wing and shot the ball past the keeper and into the far corner of the net with just 12 minutes remaining in the game.
The insurance goal by Nerwinski ended up being quite important, as the Rams would respond with a goal of their own six minutes later. The Huskies’ defense made sure not to slip up any further, however, and ensured that UConn would go home with the 2-1 road win.
With the victory, UConn advances to 5-3-0 on the year and earns its first road win, having started out the year 0-2 away from home. The win also brings the Huskies to 10-0-2 in games in which Thiam scores a goal, a remarkable statistic which bodes well for the team given his scoring record early on this season.
Goalkeeper Scott Levene was once again the difference for the Huskies, having stopped six URI shots on goal, and earning his fifth win of the year, despite allowing the goal. Although head coach Ray Reid will likely be disappointed in losing the shutout, he will definitely be happy to be heading into conference play coming off of a tough road win. The Huskies will open up their American Athletic Conference schedule with a home game against Temple on Saturday night.
Chris Hanna is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.