Freshman Austin DaSilva received his second straight start as forward for the UConn men’s soccer team on Saturday night. It was DaSilva’s goal in the 14th minute that gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead over No. 18 Georgetown.
Junior forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam sent in an unconventional through ball to put DaSilva one-on-one with the keeper and the freshman finished for his first career goal.
“It was a great pass from Abdou and I had quite a bit of time to think about it,” said DaSilva. “I was like, ‘I hope this is my moment’ and I buried it. It was just a great feeling.
As a result, UConn played with a lead for the first time all season. Their only other goal this year was an overtime winner against Quinnipiac.
That lead only lasted for 22 minutes, when Georgetown converted on a penalty kick. UConn head coach Ray Reid said the unfamiliar position of having a lead wasn’t the problem.
“They did a good job of pressing us, not really letting us get into a rhythm,” said Reid. “It’s the first good team that’s pressed us and we didn’t handle it great.”
The Huskies had a full week of preparation before taking on the Hoyas, but they could not capitalize on the early goal from DaSilva.
“We had a full week off, hadn’t played since last Saturday night,” said Reid. “These guys should be chomping at the bit to play and not out flat.”
Despite the disappointing draw, UConn was once again able to compete with nationally ranked top-20 competition. The Huskies’ schedule features a few winnable games before American Athletic Conference play begins.
“They grinded out a result. [Georgetown] is a good team, better than Notre Dame. Hopefully these two games have gotten us ready for Hofstra and North Florida.”
Rallying around Geres
UConn senior defender Andrew Geres started Saturday after his mother passed away earlier in the week. The team wore black armbands in grievance for one of their senior leaders and Joseph J. Morrone Stadium showed respect with a moment of silence prior to the game.
As for Geres, he left no doubt in Reid’s mind that he’d be playing.
“I had no doubt he would play, that’s what he’s about,” said Reid. “I give him a lot of credit, he showed the team how important the team is to him.”
The team rallied around Geres in a difficult time and stayed motivated for Georgetown.
“After it happened, [Geres] was going through a lot and the only people he could turn to was us,” said redshirt sophomore defender Nkosi Burgess. “We were there for him.”
Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.