After a hot start to the season with two wins on opening weekend, the UConn Huskies men’s soccer team will look to stay undefeated this weekend as they face their former Big East rivals, the Louisville Cardinals, at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
UConn has been outstanding at home in recent years, with a 23-5-7 record at Morrone since the start of the 2013 season. Furthermore, the Huskies have outscored their opponents 17-4 during their last seven home games, and they will surely be looking to continue that on Friday against the Cardinals.
The Huskies (2-0) moved up as many as 12 spots in the national polls on Tuesday, landing at No. 14 in the NCAA rankings and No. 11 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com rankings. In contrast, several of UConn’s American Athletic Conference rivals fell in the rankings, including SMU, which started the season at No. 12, but fell to No. 25 this week.
Louisville, on the other hand, did not receive any votes in the rankings and is 1-0-1 to start the season. The Cardinals began with a scoreless tie in their opener against Butler, and later beat Quinnipiac 2-1 in overtime. UConn has a 4-2-1 record against Louisville all-time in a relatively young series that only started in 2005.
Two Huskies were honored by the American this past Monday, as sophomore forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam and freshman winger Niko Petridis were given the Offensive Player of the Week Award and the Rookie of the Week Award, respectively. Thiam had two goals and an assist over the weekend, while Petridis scored his first career goal and created havoc up and down the wing against Nebraska-Omaha.
UConn will definitely look to start the game strong, with tons of energy as they have in both of the opening weekend games. If all goes well, the Huskies should be able to lock up the win early and come out of the weekend 3-0 and full of confidence.
Chris Hanna is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.