The UConn men’s soccer team (0-0-3) earned its third straight scoreless double overtime draw of the season Friday night against Dartmouth College (0-0-1) at Morrone Stadium.
The Huskies defense extended their scoreless streak to 797 minutes after Friday’s 110 minute match. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Scott Levene recorded his third straight shutout of the 2015 season. Levene has now recorded 11 shutouts in his first 14 starts.
The play of Levene and the UConn defense has been overlooked this season due to the fact that the Huskies have been unable to score a goal in the first three games. UConn head coach Ray Reid said Friday that the defense deserves more credit.
“We have not let up a goal in 790 minutes,” Reid said. “We haven’t let a goal up in 790 minutes. If that is 90 minutes a match, that is eight full matches. That is unheard of, especially with five freshmen on the field for 330 of them. So do not look at it half negative, look at it half positive.”
Levene’s best play of Friday’s game came in the 58th minute when he kick-saved Dartmouth’s Alberto Gorini low left footed shot from ten yards out. “They got kind of got lucky that he broke through the defense”, Levene said. “The fact that it was on his left foot kind of helped me. I was able to get in a good position and save the ball.”
Levene, who started the final eight games last season, has played very well this season. Reid, however, said he is not completely sold on Levene, but has been very impressed.
“I wasn’t sure if he could handle the arial game at UConn”, Reid said. “I won’t be convinced until he goes home for Christmas and has 25 games like the first three. But his ability in the air has improved tremendously. We normally do not like short goalkeepers. This kid is getting it done and nothing was handed to him here at all. We have to see if he can maintain it. The back four is a tremendous positive for us.”
Reid also said that his team is more anxious than frustrated about the lack of goal production.
“We are not frustrated. We are anxious. This is a process. We are air tight defensively because Scott Levene is doing everything possible in net. We can blame the forwards, but we are a team. We have 790 minutes of shutouts. The good thing is we have not lost a match yet. It is coming.”
UConn will look to notch their first goal of the season when they play their first road game against Harvard on Thursday at 4 p.m.
Eddie Leonard is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn men’s soccer. He tweets @EddieLeonard23.