UConn’s match at Akron scheduled for Saturday night has been canceled and replaced with a home game against Loyola University Maryland at 7 p.m. The schedule change was made due to Hurricane Florence’s interference with travel arrangements.
UConn (3-2) has played flawlessly at home, beating Lehigh, Niagara and Dartmouth College, while only allowing a single goal in those three home games. Loyola Maryland (3-1) is 1-1 on the road.
The Huskies will be the first explain just how much impact the home crowd has on their play. One of UConn’s captains, Abdou Mbacke Thiam, said, “Everytime we play at home, the fans give us more energy.”
“Especially at the ending of the game when we’re tired, [the fans] just give us that extra push,” forward Dayonn Harris said. The crowd for Saturday’s game has the potential to be lighter than normal due to the last minute schedule change. The better the atmosphere at Morrone, the better the performance the Huskies are expected to have.
Loyola Maryland won their last game at St. John’s by a score of 1-0. Like in any shutout, defense was the key to the Greyhounds’ success. Loyola Maryland didn’t let St. John’s take a single shot on goal the entire game. It’s tough to score if players are blocked from shooting, and it made for an easy game for Loyola’s keeper.
UConn’s last game was a 1-0 victory against Dartmouth College. In that game, the Huskies had plenty of opportunities. They took 14 shots with eight of them on goal. Dartmouth’s keeper, Chris Palacios, did an amazing job protecting the Dartmouth goal, saving seven shots.
Loyola Maryland’s defensive strategy of keeping shots off of the goal, as opposed to Dartmouth’s reliance on their impressive goalkeeper, will be a test for the Huskies, who like to control the ball and get it into the corners for crosses into the box.
The Huskies will need to adjust their offensive game plan to increase their aggressiveness to make sure they get their shots on Loyola Maryland’s goal and challenge their goalie. It will be up to fourth-year leaders Thiam and Harris, along with the young and talented Husky offense, to get their shots. The game will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Morrone Stadium.
Sean Janos is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.