Men’s Soccer Recap: UConn stunned by Providence in conference opener

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The UConn Men’s Soccer team suffers a 0-2 defeat to the Providence Friars on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The first goal was scored on a penalty kick in the first half. Photo by Kevin Lindstrom/The Daily Campus.

UConn made their second appearance of the regular season in the new and improved Morrone Stadium to host Providence in their first Big East match. Unfortunately for them, the match didn’t go the way they hoped, and UConn conceded 2-0 to the visitors. 

The opening 15 minutes of the match consisted of arguably the most controversial plays that affected the score sheet. In the fifth minute, UConn was on the attack until a player was tackled in the Providence (2-0) penalty box. While many Huskies (1-1) called for a penalty to be given, the referee thought otherwise and said to play on. Just a bit over five minutes later, a similar situation occurred in UConn’s penalty area, but the visitors were awarded a penalty. Midfielder Paulo Lima took the shot from the center spot and scored the opener of the match. 

UConn did try to put the pressure on for an equalizer before the half-time whistle. Moussa Wade had a chance in the 20th minute, but the ball went wide. Felix Metzler had two chances, once in the 33rd minute and the other in the 44th, but he couldn’t manage to get the ball in the back of the net. 

At half-time, both sides were split in the number of shots taken (three and three) despite the Friars’ 1-0 lead. 

In the opening minutes of the second half, Ben Awashie took his chance to put the Huskies on the scoresheet but to no success as his shot from the near post went straight to the Providence keeper. A couple minutes later, Providence was shown the first yellow card of the match after defender Ramzi Qawasmy fouled Okem Chime who tried to go on the attack. It should also be noted that UConn’s Robin Lapert picked up a knock in the 57th minute and had to be substituted off. 

In the 60th minute, Providence was at the double as midfielder Gevork Diarbian scored off a clinical finish. The Friars were on the attack following a throw-in, where the ball went momentarily loose between Providence and UConn players. Providence was quick to get the ball out and into UConn’s final third of the pitch where forward Gil Santos threaded the ball to Diarbian who put the ball toward the far post and in the net. 

Following the second goal, the Huskies were relatively quiet, only taking a few shots, some substitutions and a yellow card on Jayden Reid. They did have a great chance in the 86th minute to put at least one goal up, but the sideline ref raised their flag for an offside call.  

UConn’s next Big East match will be on the road against St. John’s on Wednesday. 

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