Many say that the sequel can never top the original, and after Saturday night’s thrilling overtime win against Monmouth, it wasn’t going to be easy for the UConn Men’s Soccer team to replicate the thrill of igniting the home crowd on Tuesday night against Yale. However, on Tuesday overtime was not necessary for the Huskies to defend their home field, as their offensive attack led by Jayden Reid dazzled under the lights at Morrone Stadium.
The sophomore scored his first goal of the season and assisted on the other three goals that the Huskies put in the back of the net. While the offensive attack led the Huskies to victory, the pressure was put on goalkeeper Jahmali Waite to ensure that UConn would not have to battle from behind all game, and the graduate student was up to the challenge. Waite jumped on the loose ball to turn away Yale’s first chance in the early minutes of the game, and from that moment on, the game belonged to the Huskies.
UConn pressured the net early and often, as Saturday night’s heroes Okem Chime, Bjorn Nikolajewski, and Ahdan Tait were all knocking on the door with attempts to get the Huskies on the board first in this battle for Connecticut. However, it did not take long for the door to get blown off its hinges as Reid found Dom Laws in the 33rd minute with a beautiful cross, allowing the senior to head in the first goal of the game and his first goal of the season. Merely minutes later, the Huskies showed their balance of experience and youth as freshman Scott Testori converted on another assist from Reid, scoring the first goal of his collegiate career as the Huskies took a commanding 2-0 lead into the half.
The second half was more of the same for the Huskies and the sophomore Reid, who converted a feed from Moussa Wade to add to the UConn advantage less than ten minutes after coming out of halftime. The Huskies were able to hold Yale at bay throughout the contest, taking less pressure off of Waite and allowing the Bulldogs to only register four shots on goal after their early chance in the opening minutes of the first half. For good measure, Reid registered his third assist of the night as he found freshman Giancarlo Vaccaro to pad the UConn lead that they would maintain until the end of the game, coming out as the top dog in this Nutmeg State showdown, defeating Yale 4-0.
The Huskies will look to keep up this momentum as they travel to Indiana this Saturday night to take on Big East rival Butler. It will be UConn’s first road test of the season as they take on a Bulldogs squad that has struggled but has not lost on their home field yet.