It was a good night for the UConn men’s soccer team, not only beating the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes 6-3, but also extending their season by at least one more game.
UConn redshirt senior Dayonn Harris took it upon himself to extend his collegiate career, scoring the first of the Huskies’ six goals in the 24th minute, getting a deep pass from defenseman Jake Dengler near the left corner, bringing it inside and rifling into the bottom left corner.
“Dayonn was fantastic tonight,” head coach Ray Reid said. “Great goal to start the game … we’re gonna miss him.”
Harris has two goals and nine assists this season, bringing his UConn career total up to seven goals and 16 assists in 38 games since his transfer to Storrs in 2017.
The Huskies struck again in the 27th minute, and this time it was freshman Moussa Wade, recording the first goal of his collegiate career, burying a strike from just outside the box and giving Dengler his second assist of the night.
Robin Lappert made it 3-0 in the 41st minute on a penalty kick heading the ball in after his initial shot was saved right back at him. Lapert has three goals this season, the most of anyone on the team not named Jordan Hall.
They went into the half up that number but quickly made it four when they came back, with Wade getting his second goal of the night and career, finishing Harris’s shot that was saved and tapping it into, essentially, an empty net.
Tulsa finally got on the board in the same minute, easily heading in a corner kick. The Golden Hurricanes got two more against what were mostly substitutes for the Huskies in the final 10 minutes, but UConn had already increased their total to six, with goals from Ibrahima Diop and Ahdan Tait before Tulsa got their second, so it was never close.
Due to the large lead, UConn was able to truly celebrate Senior Night even during a must-win game, getting playing time for 10 different players who did not start.
“It was a great effort by the group tonight,” Reid said. “They came to play. They were aggressive, they pressed, they did a great job tonight.”
However, for the Huskies, the game really didn’t end when the clock hit 90:00, as it immediately went to scoreboard watching. Heading into the night, UConn was trailing Cincinnati by one point, so they needed to either win and have Cincinnati tie or lose to UCF, or UConn could tie and Cincinnati needed to lose, as UConn had the tiebreaker.
Naturally, it wasn’t without the dramatics, as Cincinnati tied the game at two in the 83rd minute, forcing overtime with the No. 1 team in the conference. However, UCF came through and put the game away just over eight minutes into the overtime, sending the Bearcats home and allowing the Huskies to swipe a playoff spot from them on the last day of the season.
The Huskies will travel to No. 3 seed USF in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at Jorge.firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @jorge_eckardt31