Looking to retain the momentum from last week, the University of Connecticut Men’s Soccer Team was looking for 90 minutes of the type of whole-team effort that had bolstered them early on this season. On Tuesday night, they found the spark to get them there.
Five minutes into the match it was, again, Jayden Reid who filled his role as the Huskies’ facilitator and leader on offense. He found sophomore Moussa Wade, who took the lead from his fellow sophomore and found the back of the net to give the Huskies an early 1-0 lead. From that point on, the Huskies controlled the flow of the game, almost adding on another goal minutes later, but Scott Testori yanked it just wide of the post to keep the game within reach for a Dartmouth squad desperate to capture their first win of the season.
The rest of the first half was all UConn, as the Big Green failed to register a shot in the first 45 minutes of play. However, they were able to successfully keep this out-of-conference matchup close as they successfully turned away a late first half attack set up by Felix Metzler and Mateo Leveque.
After losing the foul battle against Butler on Saturday night, the Huskies did a good job playing a cleaner game, registering 11 fouls to Dartmouth’s 15. UConn also avoided yellow cards, while the Big Green received one in the first half and one in the second half. Despite the controlled aggressiveness, the Huskies could not add on to their early 1-0 lead, failing to convert a free kick early in the second half and putting more pressure on graduate student goalkeeper Jahmali Waite. Luckily for the Huskies, their veteran goalie was up to the challenge. Waite turned away Dartmouth’s only shot on goal towards the end of the second half, ensuring UConn would not have to find themselves in another overtime nail biter.
The final 20 minutes were devoid of scoring opportunities, when both UConn and Dartmouth failed to put pressure on the other squad’s defenses and goalkeepers. Waite pitching his fourth clean sheet in the first six games of the season, only allowing two goals in this young season, an impressive mark for the grad student from Philly.
Despite failing to score, Dartmouth showed fight in the losing effort, notching all five of their shots in the second half, two more than the Huskies. The Big Green was able to draw three corner kicks, all in the second half of play, with a shot on goal coming from a free kick in the waning minutes of the contest.
The Huskies added another win against their New England opponent, avoiding a loss to Dartmouth for their ninth showdown in a row since they lost in New Hampshire in the mid 90s. Dartmouth’s challenge next time out is a battle with the best team in the nation, as they travel to the nation’s capital to take on Georgetown on Saturday afternoon.
Up next for UConn is a date with DePaul in Chicago. The Blue Demons also have a record of 4-2 in this young 2021 campaign and are looking to build off their strong home performance last weekend against Oakland, coming out victorious 3-1.
Kickoff is at 2 p.m. EST at Wish Field.