Men's Soccer: Huskies host Providence to begin critical week

The Huskies went head to head against North Florida on Saturday, Sept. 16. UConn held a 2-0 lead going into halftime, but ended up tying the game after overtime (Jon Sammis/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s soccer team will begin a stretch of three home games in six days with a match against Providence on Tuesday night. American Athletic Conference defending champion Tulsa and No. 3 Maryland will come to town later this week.

Tuesday’s match against Providence will be the 41st meeting between the old Big East rivals. The Huskies lead the all-time series with a 32-6-2 record.

UConn (3-2-2, 1-0-0 the American) is fresh off a victory in their first American game of the season on Saturday, defeating Temple 2-0 behind goals from junior Abdou Mbacke Thiam and sophomore Niko Petridis.

Thiam’s goal was his fifth of the season, leading the team over Petridis and Austin DaSilva who have one goal each. Thiam has scored four goals in the past three games for the Huskies and his performance against Temple earned him American Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

UConn redshirt senior goalkeeper Scott Levene tied a career-high with seven saves against Temple on Saturday. Levene’s stellar performance in his third shutout of the season was enough to be named American Goalkeeper of the Week for the second time this season.

The win over Temple was also the Huskies’ first road game of the season, as they played six straight games in Storrs to begin the season and about to play three more home contests.

Providence (2-5-1, 0-1-1 Big East) has had a very disappointing season so far. The Friars were ranked as high as No. 12 in the preseason edition of the United Soccer Coaches Poll, but they have lost three of their last four games.

The Friars are 1-2-0 in road matches this season, with their sole victory coming in double overtime against Rhode Island. Last time out, Providence lost 1-0 in a home game against Big East foe Butler.

Providence is led by redshirt senior forward Mac Steeves, who leads the team in goals and assists with four and three, respectively. Steeves’ four goals are three more than any other Friar and his 43 shots account for a good portion of the team’s 101 total shots.

Goalkeeper Colin Miller has started six of the Friars’ eight games and has made 22 saves with a 0.91 goals against average. Miller has a record of 2-3-1 and has held opponents scoreless in two shutouts.

UConn will look to take advantage of Providence’s recent struggles before another two tough opponents visit Storrs this week. Tuesday’s game will kick off on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.


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