The UConn men’s soccer team is headed to Texas this weekend to face off against the No. 12 SMU Mustangs in what will be their last road game this year. The Huskies sit at 2-5-1 away from home this season, but off back-to-back close losses against Temple and No. 6 UCF, UConn is hopeful to finally earn that elusive win against another tough opponent.
For the Huskies (4-10-1, 1-4-0 The American), the season has been full of several close matches, very few of which they have been lucky enough to come out on top of. The mental toughness head coach Ray Reid spoke of earlier in the season has been on full display, but the team has been unable to find that final piece of the puzzle, resulting in a record that seems a lot worse than the team has actually played.
Last time out, UConn suffered yet another one-score loss, their eighth loss of the kind this year, to the Temple Owls. In a game where the Huskies led in shots with nine, the only one that mattered was the game-winner in the 61st minute off a Temple corner. The only shot to even get on target for UConn was their lone goal scored by center back Jake Dengler, the second of his UConn career and second consecutive game with a goal. He will be the player to watch if he can continue his momentum heading into their matchup against SMU, but even more important will be the teams’ performance on the defensive end.
The Mustangs (12-1-1, 3-1-1 The American) currently sit at No. 2 in all D-1 men’s soccer in total goals, having scored a combined 12 in their last two matchups against Stetson and conference rival Cincinnati. On the season, SMU have scored 52 through 14 games, putting together an impressive average of just under four goals a game. They are led by senior forward Garrett McLuaghlin, who currently ranks No. 3 in D-1 soccer for goals scored (14) and No. 4 in points (33). But he is not the only one putting up numbers for the team.
Also on the Mustang’s roster are sophomore duo Knut Ahlander and Gabriel Costa, who sit at No. 1 and No. 2 in D-1 soccer in assists with 10 and nine, respectively. This offense is as high-powered as they come and will keep UConn’s plate full, keeping them out of the back of the net.
Kickoff for this one is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Wescott Field in Texas, with a livestream being broadcast on Pony Up TV.
Conner Gilson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @connergilson03.