With hopes to build on their last two strong performances, the UConn men’s soccer team traveled to Indianapolis to take on Butler Saturday night in their first game away from Storrs this season.
The Big East rivalry between the Huskies and Bulldogs was evident early, as in the first twenty minutes of play there were a half dozen fouls and three yellow cards called, with two against UConn. Butler’s defense silenced the UConn offense that had come into the night averaging 2.5 goals per game in their last two victories, notching the advantage midway through the first half. They scored their first and only shot on goal as Wilmer Cabrera put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0. It would take almost the whole first half for UConn to notch a shot, with last game’s hero Jayden Reid putting pressure on the Butler goalkeeper, but it was Butler that took the advantage into halftime.
However, the Huskies would not go down without a fight. In the final forty-five minutes of play, UConn peppered the Butler defensive attack with seven shots of their own, only registering one shot on goal, an effort from upperclassman Felix Metzler that almost found the back of the net, but was deflected out of bounds for a UConn corner. It was a much needed bounce back performance for the Bulldogs, who came into the game struggling to put together a winning stretch of games thus far this season. They dropped their last two games while failing to find the back of the net in each of the contests. After Metzler’s shot, the Huskies maintained possession and had countless opportunities to notch an equalizer and carry over momentum into their next game, but the Bulldog defense was relentless. The Bulldogs denied last-minute efforts from Metzler and Moussa Wade, holding on for their first conference win of the season, 1-0. UConn led in two key stats in the contest, outshooting Butler 8-4, while simultaneously having double the amount of fouls with 16 throughout the game.
Luckily for the Huskies, they have a quick turnaround with a chance at starting their next winning streak. UConn welcomes another non-conference opponent to Morrone Stadium on Tuesday night as Dartmouth travels to Storrs. UConn has won three of their first contests against non-conference opponents. This matchup against Dartmouth will be UConn’s last non-conference challenger before a long stretch of Big East foes that will likely be as physical and close as Saturday night’s battle.