The UConn men’s soccer team will be hosting Tulsa in their final regular season matchup Tuesday, Nov. 5. The Huskies sit just above the Golden Hurricane in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) standings, but neither has fared particularly well, as they represent the bottom two spots of the conference. UConn will be hoping to end their season on a strong note and send their two seniors home with one final win.
The Huskies (4-11-1, 1-5-0 The American) have two seniors graduating this season, redshirt senior Dayonn Harris and senior transfer Jordan Hall. As was the case with the graduating seniors last season, Harris and Hall lead the team in points this year and will leave big shoes to fill for next year’s squad.
Harris had an illustrious career for UConn after transferring for his junior year from Penn State. In his first full season with the Huskies, Harris led the team with seven assists on the season while also ranking No. 2 on the team in goals with five en route to an impressive 17 points on the year.
This season, Harris improved on his passing with a team that has struggled to find the back of the net, racking up a team-best nine assists, tying him at No. 4 in the nation. His goals dipped a bit this year, but that was in large part due to the performance of senior teammate Jordan Hall.
Hall transferred from Rutgers for his senior year in hopes of putting together an impressive final campaign, and that is just how it started for the Englishman. Through nine games, Hall had an NCAA-leading nine goals and looked poised for a breakout season. Unfortunately, his year was cut short by a hamstring injury sustained in their matchup against Dartmouth, and since he played more than half of the regular season for the Huskies, he is ineligible for a redshirt year, bringing a sudden end to what was a brilliant start to his UConn career.
Since Hall’s injury, several players began putting points on the board for the Huskies, as they have had seven different players find pay dirt this season including two goals apiece from juniors Felix Metzler, Robin Lapert and Jake Dengler. But they struggle to find a consistent option and have not scored more than two goals in a game since their second match of the year against Rhode Island over two months ago. Lucky for them, the team they are set to face has struggled even more on both ends of the field.
Tulsa (4-8-2, 0-4-1 The American) has struggled mightily as of late, only winning one of its last eight games. Like UConn, however, many of the games Tulsa has lost have come by just one goal, their biggest loss coming in a 5-1 route against SMU, the same team the Huskies just played to a 1-0 defeat.
The Golden Hurricane are led by senior midfielder Harris Partain, who has totaled nine goals and three assists, good for 21 points with just one game left. Aside from Partian, however, no Tulsa player has reached double digits, nor has anyone else scored more than one goal, meaning this could be a one-trick pony type of team that UConn can take advantage of.
On the defensive end, Tulsa has given up 1.71 goals per game, placing them at second worst in the AAC. That number would be much worse though, if not for the efforts of Tulsa’s goalies averaging 3.67 saves per game, good enough for No. 2 in the conference. For a team like the Huskies who have struggled to score, this will be a tough final test, but something they hope to overcome so they have something to build off come next season.
Kickoff in this one is set for 7 p.m. at Dillon Stadium. It is the last game that will be played in Hartford for UConn, as the team will be back in Storrs next season playing at the new Morrone Stadium next year.
Conner Gilson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @connergilson03.