Men’s Soccer: No. 18 Georgetown provides another tough test for UConn

Freshman forward Austin DaSilva (16) fights Notre Dame defender Patrick Berneski (25) during the Huskies 1-0 loss to the Fighting Irish on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (Jon Sammis/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s soccer team was ranked No. 24 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, but the Huskies have scored just one goal in the first three games of the season combined. UConn (1-2) suffered a loss in double overtime in the season-opener against Iona and fell to No. 6 Notre Dame last Saturday on a late goal.

Things don’t get any easier for the Huskies this weekend, as No. 18 Georgetown comes to Storrs.

The Hoyas (4-0) have won all four of their games to start the season and have only given up one goal total. This doesn’t bode well for the UConn offense struggling to score.

Georgetown has also scored nine goals on the season, averaging more than two per game. The Hoyas have been doing all of this against decent competition, defeating then-No. 15 UCLA 1-0, then-No. 19 Coastal Carolina 3-0 and a formidable Cal Poly team 3-1.

Although Georgetown is battle-tested early on, the Hoyas played each of those three opponents at home. UConn is just 1-2 at home this season, but the Huskies have looked like the better team in all of their games.

Georgetown is led by sophomore forward Achara, who has already scored five goals this season. Achara only scored one goal in eight games during his freshman season last year but he has fired 17 shots in four games this year.

The Hoyas junior goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski has played every minute in net, recording three shutouts and saving eight of nine shots for a .889 save percentage. Marcinkowski was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Week last week for his performances against Cal Poly and UCLA.

Joining Marcinkowski with Big East honors last week was junior Peter Schropp, earning Defender of the Week. Achara was also recognized on the Weekly Honor Roll.

To beat the Hoyas, UConn will need junior forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam to play better than he did last weekend. Notre Dame emphasized pressure on Thiam and it resulted in limiting the UConn captain to 0 shots on the night. Thiam has the only Huskies goal this season, an overtime winner against Quinnipiac.

Watch for junior defender Jacob Hauser-Ramsey and junior transfer forward Dayonn Harris in Saturday’s starting lineup. Both were held out of last weekend’s match against Notre Dame due to minor hamstring injuries, but freshmen Blaise N’Gague and Austin DaSilva stepped in and performed well in their place.

“There’s potential for this group,” UConn head coach Ray Reid said. “If they keep plugging along, there’s potential.”

The Huskies and Hoyas will kick off at 7 p.m. in 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.