Following their two-week hiatus on the pitch, UConn resumed their Big East campaign against rivals St. John’s. Redemption was sought from the hosts following the 2-0 defeat they suffered on the road on March 3, but instead they faced a 1-0 defeat at Morrone Stadium.
This is now the third time UConn (1-3-1, 0-3-1 Big East) has lost this season, and marks the fourth game in a row they haven’t been able to convert a goal. It also adds another win to St. John’s (5-4,3-4 Big East) history against the Huskies, with a record of 17-14-5.
Defensively, the Huskies looked strong in the opening minutes of the match. With the Red Storm having opportunities from set pieces and open plays, UConn’s backline was able to intervene. On the other hand, UConn’s attack struggled to create chances, only appearing in the Red Storm’s final third of the pitch three times before a penalty was given to the home side after St. John’s Matt Chandler pushed Okem Chime in the box.
A crucial opportunity for the Huskies to end their goalless spell appeared as Moussa Wade went to take the penalty from the spot in the 21st minute. Unfortunately, the Red Storm keeper went in the same direction as Wade’s shot, and the game remained 0-0.
About 10 minutes later, the Red Storm were awarded a penalty after UConn’s Josh Morgan shoved Wesley Leggett in the box. Following the penalty call, Morgan was shown an immediate red card, forcing UConn down to 10 men. Midfielder Einar Lye went up to the penalty spot and converted the lone goal of the match.
The Huskies nearly equalized before the half time whistle. Defender Ahdan Tait played the ball on the left hand side, dribbling past St. John’s backline. Taking the shot with his left foot, Tait managed to hit the outside of the near post.
The visitors received more opportunities in the second half. One of the closest chances came in the 57th minute after Tait lost his touch on the ball, giving the possession away to the Red Storm. On the attack, Matt Forster saw his chance on the left side of the pitch, but Jahmali Waite was able to snatch it off the ground.
At the death of the full 90, St. John’s saw another golden opportunity to secure their back-to-back win against the Huskies. With Felix Metzler losing his touch on the ball, Red Storm’s Lye went on the counter and saw Josiah Crawford for the through-pass. Crawford took a ground shot but hit the bottom of the far post.
UConn had a chance to equalize once more minutes earlier. Off a free kick in the 81st minute, Felix Metzler took a shot from distance but managed to be inches wide off the net.
The Huskies will remain in Storrs for their matchup against the Georgetown Hoyas on Wednesday.