“It’s inexcusable for us to lose that game,” said Ray Reid after the 1-0 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday night.
And for good reason. The Huskies dominated the game in incredible fashion but still lost and now are 1-2 on the season.
“We’re in the business of winning and these guys need to learn how to win,” Reid said.
This game followed a similar pattern for the Huskies, a lot of chances created, good pace and a solid defense led by redshirt sophomore Nkosi Burgess and freshman Blaise N’gague.
N’gague, a midfielder, had to step into the center back position in place of junior Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, who was rested for a minor muscular problem.
But when it was time to score, the Huskies fell short and the story of the first three matches repeated itself. They outshot the Irish 10-4 and they had eight corners to Notre Dame’s three.
Early on, the match looked like it was headed for extra time for the third consecutive time to start the season, until Notre Dame’s Jeff Farina got the ball from Jack Casey to score the lone goal that would sink the Huskies.
“The game is about scoring and stopping goals,” Reid said, with a frustrated face at the press conference.
UConn has outshot their opponents 37-11 but has only scored one goal. That one goal came in overtime.
Obviously their goal scoring drought has nothing to do with the lack of chances. From right back, redshirt junior Dylan Greenberg to freshman sensation Austin DaSilva, the team is constantly generating chance after chance.
Sophomore Niko Petridis made run after run, wreaking havoc on Notre Dame’s left back, who couldn’t take a second to relax and that was a good thing. Unfortunately, the last pass for a goal never came.
On the other side Greenberg’s explosiveness and flashy moves made the crowd roar and helped to keep the ball almost all the time in Notre Dame’s own half.
The team just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net.
Freshman Josh Burnett was doing his part as a playmaker and even if he had a quiet night, junior Abdou Mbacke Thiam was moving well between defenders and had a very clear chance moments after Notre Dame scored.
Some shots went wide, others barely missed the post or flew away from the goal.
By this time last year, UConn had already scored five goals, but allowed three.
“This is the best defense I’ve played with in my five years here,” redshirt senior goalkeeper Scott Levene said.
While this might be the Huskies best defense in years, if the team doesn’t start scoring goals, the season might be a long one for players and fans alike.
Until the scoring issue is resolved, a single mistake may be the only thing opponents need to get past UConn, as the Fighting Irish did on Saturday night.
It might have been unfair and undeserved but at the end, the most important part of this game is to score more than your opponent.
Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.