Men’s Soccer: Huskies host Tigers on Senior Night

UConn senior Andrew Geres sends a ball down the field during the Huskies 3-2 loss to UCF on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at Morrone Stadium. Geres and the rest of the seniors will be honored at Saturday's game. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s soccer team will attempt to end a season-long two-game losing streak Saturday night when the Huskies take on the Memphis Tigers. UConn was scheduled to play Tuesday night against Dartmouth but the match was postponed due to rain and has not been rescheduled.

UConn (7-5-2, 4-1 the American) has hit a bump in the road recently after winning five of six games in the middle of the season. Since that streak, the Huskies have lost two consecutive games and are now preparing to play their final three regular season matches.

Last time out, UConn suffered their first defeat in the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies fell to UCF despite a late comeback effort, as the Knights managed to leave Storrs with a 3-2 victory. UConn’s loss puts the team in a tie for first place in the American with SMU. The Huskies and Mustangs will play in the final game of the season, a match that will likely determine the conference champion.

But before that, UConn will look to maintain its spot in the standings by beating Memphis. The Tigers (3-7-4, 1-2-2 the American) have played well their opponent tough in every American match despite their subpar conference record.

Memphis played to a tie against UCF and USF, two quality teams in the middle of the standings. The Tigers also fell in overtime to conference-leading SMU and fourth-place Temple. Some unfortunate results have left Memphis toward the bottom of the standings, but the Tigers should not be overlooked.

Memphis is led by their defense, which has given up just six goals in five American matches. Goalkeeper Jake Leeker leads the conference with 59 saves, seven more than the next goalkeeper on the list, UConn’s Scott Levene.

Offensively, the Tigers are led by a trio of players with two goals each: David Zalzman, Ben Roberts and Charles Blankenship. Sophomore Burke Fahling leads Memphis in assists, recording five of the team’s 11 assists on the season.

In the all-time series between the two schools, UConn and Memphis are tied at 2-2-0. Last season, the Huskies suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Tigers.

UConn will honor six graduating seniors on Saturday night as part of the pregame Senior Night celebration. David Abunaw, Cheikh Stephane Coly, Andrew Geres, Alex Kao, Scott Levene and Santiago Muriel will be playing in their penultimate game at Storrs.

Coly, Geres and Levene have all played a big role for the Huskies this season and have had excellent careers for head coach Ray Reid. Coly started every game of his first three years at UConn and has been successful in a more limited role this season. Geres was second on the team last year with three goals, and has been a big part of this year’s defense. Levene is second in the UConn record books for consecutive starts in net, passing Husky legend Andre Blake earlier this season.

Senior Night festivities will get underway at 6:45 p.m. Saturday at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.