Men’s Soccer: Huskies return home to defend Morrone one last time

Dylan Greenberg fights off Cincinnati defenders during a game on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Morrone Stadium. The Huskies take on Boston College Tuesday night at home. (Nicholas Hampton, Associate Photo Editor/The Daily Campus)

Dylan Greenberg fights off Cincinnati defenders during a game on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Morrone Stadium. The Huskies take on Boston College Tuesday night at home. (Nicholas Hampton, Associate Photo Editor/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s soccer team will play four straight games at Morrone Stadium before playing their last regular season game on the road, starting the home stretch with Boston College on Tuesday night.

These four games are likely the final games that Morrone Stadium will see before the Huskies move on to their new soccer facility next season.

No. 16 UConn (7-2-2) is coming off a draw with conference rival UCF where there were no goals scored in the entire contest. It was the first time UConn had been shutout since Sept. 2, and it was UConn’s third time shutting their opponent out in the last four games.

The Huskies’ defense has been everything that UConn hoped they’d be this season, surrendering just 10 goals through the team’s 11 games. They’ve allowed just one in their last four.

While defense is a complete team effort, and with a lot of credit due to head coach and defensive guru Ray Reid, senior Jacob Hauser-Ramsey’s contributions cannot be understated. Hauser-Ramsey has won conference Defensive Player of the Week honors for three consecutive weeks now.

Dylan Greenberg, Felix Metzler, Robin Lapert and goalkeeper Austin Aviza also all deserve credit for the Huskies’ great defense this season. They especially did a great job containing UCF’s Cal Jennings, who leads the conference in goals scored. UConn often threw multiple defenders his way when UCF tried running their offense through him.

We already know UConn’s defense is scalding hot right now, and has been playing well all season. It’s the offense that has had trouble staying consistent. UConn leans heavily on Abdou Mbacke Thiam to score and facilitate for a cast of up-and-coming younger players.

Thiam has scored eight goals this season, which is the same amount as every other UConn player combined. Of the six players that aren’t Thiam that scored those goals, five of them are either true or redshirt freshmen.

The sixth goal scorer, Dayonn Harris, is a redshirt junior. Harris has been an instrumental compliment to Thiam this season, taking some of the attention away from him and setting him up for shots in the box. Harris has four assists and three goals this season, acting as a terrific secondary scoring option to Thiam.

“He’s [Harris] one of the main guys, fast and he’s good with the ball,” Thiam said.

After the Huskies’ most recent home win over Sacred Heart, Reid said, “I don’t think we said ‘get Abdou and Dayonn the ball,’ but our guys know who the money guys are and they get them the ball.”

A steady diet of Thiam and Harris is what has worked for this Husky offense, so expect it to be in the cards at Morrone Stadium on Tuesday night.

“There’s only four regular season games left now at Morrone. Four games left and they close down Morrone,” Reid said. “Even though we are excited about the new facility, it’s going to be very sad after SMU when they close it down.”

The game will kickoff at 7 p.m. and it will be a white-out, so remember to wear your white if you’re attending.


Sean Janos is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at sean.janos@uconn.edu.