The UConn men’s soccer team took a 3-2 win over Boston College on a chilly Tuesday night at Morrone Stadium, pushing their record at home to 7-0-1.
UConn (8-2-2) scored the first goal of the game in the 28th minute by shocking the Eagles on a restart. Sophomore Josh Burnett pulled the trigger quickly off of the restart to get the ball ahead to Abdou Mbacke Thiam, who only had to beat the goalkeeper for his ninth goal of the season.
“I got fouled and I saw that the ball was right in front of me and the defender backed away,” Burnett said. “Abdou pointed right where he wanted it and I put it there. Once I played it, I knew Abdou was going to finish it.”
Thiam said he and Burnett have developed an in-game mental connection.
“It’s been a while that we’ve been playing together, we have a connection. He looked at me and I saw in his eyes what he wanted, we have that connection,” Thiam said. “I’m happy to see him have two goals and an assist.”
Shortly after, BC (4-5-3) had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the 31st minute thanks to a penalty in the box resulting in a penalty kick. But UConn goalkeeper Austin Aviza guessed right and was able to deflect the shot away.
Aviza made the first half of this game into his own personal highlight reel, jumping and diving to save quality BC shots in the 27th, 31st and 39th minutes. He recorded four total saves in the first half, and eight total in the match.
In the 42nd minute, Thiam and Burnett went at it again. This time, it was Thiam feeding Burnett for the score. Thiam dished a perfect pass, with little room for error, to Burnett, who took the feed in stride and put a beautiful touch shot past the keeper and into the goal to make it 2-0.
Burnett struck again in the 50th minute of the game, scoring his second of the game and of the season. Blaise N’Gague sent the ball upfield for the Huskies, who had a three to two man advantage on the breakaway. Burnett took the feed in stride and stopped on a dime, sending the defender flying by, making him fall and slide on the wet field. Burnett then launched the shot into the bottom left corner of the goal to put UConn up 3-0.
With 12 minutes left in regulation, Kristofer Konradsson took the goose egg off of the board for BC, making the game 3-1 with a shot that nearly hit the right post.
Just six minutes later, Konradsson scored another goal for the Eagles to make the score 3-2. What had looked like a blowout turned into a one goal game with only six minutes left to play.
Head coach Ray Reid was not happy about the Huskies lack of focus late in the game.
“I thought the last 25 minutes, our defenders weren’t focused, our two midfielders weren’t focused. We have to do a better job closing out games,” Reid said. “I think guys started screwing around. Guys took their foot off of the gas and started screwing around.”
BC made the Huskies sweat the remainder of the game out, putting multiple shots on goal in the final six minutes of the game. But UConn’s defense held steady and secured the win.
UConn will play their next game at home against conference rival Temple on Saturday. Temple is 4-7-3 on the season. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
Sean Janos is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.