The UConn men’s soccer team lost a heartbreaker in Chicago last weekend to open up its stretch of Big East conference matchups, allowing a goal in the 79th minute, falling 2-1 to the Blue Demons.
After falling behind in the early moments of this matchup, the Huskies showed resilience and notched the tying goal later in the first half thanks to Guillaume Vacter, who scored his first goal of the season. However, despite their domination in the shot battle, outshooting DePaul 16-6, it was not enough for the Huskies to tack on another goal.
Luckily for UConn, the schedule is full steam ahead as it rolls into October. After winning four out of their first five at Morrone, including the last three without even allowing its opponents to score, the team is eager to keep the momentum at home strong. However, the Huskies have a tall task ahead of them with a St. John’s squad that has come out of the gates on fire to kick off its 2021 campaign.
After dropping two of their first three games, the Red Storm have rattled off six wins in a row, including victories against fellow Big East opponents Creighton and Xavier. The only loss on the road that St Johns has suffered came in its season opener against Clemson, falling to the No. 6 ranked team in the nation by a score of 2-1.
The Red Storm are led by Brandon Knapp, who leads the team in points with 10, has put in 3 goals and dished out four assists. Knapp has had help on the offensive attack for St. John’s with Lucas Bartlett, Einar Lye and Atila Ashrafi also making their presence felt on the field and on the stat sheet.
On defense, St. John’s is anchored by goalkeeper Luka Kavran, who has saved 85% of the shots on goal, allowing only five on the year in the first nine games for the Red Storm. The pressure has been taken off Kavran thanks to a relentless offensive display that has the Red Storm at 121 shots, 45 of them being on goal as St. John’s has developed significant momentum heading into October.
In their past matchups historically with St. John’s, the Huskies have lost the last three against their longtime Big East foe, including a 1-0 loss on March 20 earlier this year. Overall, in its 36 all time matchups with St. John’s, UConn has won 14, lost 17 and played to five ties. All-time against the Red Storm at home, the Huskies have experienced much more success than in Queens, notching a 12-7-1 record when welcoming St. John’s to Storrs.
The key for the Huskies this game is to jump ahead early and convert the opportunities that evaded them last weekend against DePaul. Led by Okem Chime, Jayden Reid and Moussa Wade, UConn will look to weather the Red Storm as it protects homefield in front of a packed crowd at Morrone Stadium. The Huskies will hope that a similarly successful shot battle will generate a victory against a St. John’s squad that is eager to spoil UConn’s homecoming.
The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Connecticut.