The UConn men’s soccer team will look to get back to winning ways as they take on USF at Corbett Stadium in Tampa on Friday at 7 p.m. The game will mark the Huskies’ first American Conference matchup of the season.
UConn (3-4) suffered a 3-2 home loss in Hartford at the hands of Columbia in their last outing. The Huskies fell behind early after Columbia scored off a direct free kick in the 15th minute, but senior forward Jordan Hall headed home his team-leading eighth goal of the season to tie the game in the 26th minute. The Lions again went ahead in the 61st minute with a shot from range, yet UConn was able to pull level yet again as junior defender Robin Lapert headed in a beautifully played free kick from senior midfielder Dayonn Harris in the 81st minute. The Huskies were unable to hold on, however, and Columbia scored just two minutes later and defended their lead until the final whistle.
USF (4-2) should pose a difficult challenge for the Huskies this week. The Bulls were pegged to finish fourth place in the American Conference in the preseason coaches poll and have lived up to expectations so far this season. USF has won four of its last five games, including a 2-0 home win over No. 5 Louisville. Jonathan Rosales, Victor Claudel and Emilio Ycaza all have scored two goals this season to lead the Bulls attack while Avionne Flannagan paces the team with three assists. USF has been stingy on the defensive end, allowing just five goals through six games.
If the Huskies are to pick up a win on the road, the attacking punch of Hall and Harris (seven assists) will need to assert themselves early and often or else the team will need to find offense in other parts of the lineup. UConn will also need to tighten things up in the defensive third as they have allowed 10 goals in their past four games.
Story Salit is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.