Men’s Soccer: Huskies look toward postseason push in clash with Blue Devils 

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Staff Photographer UConn Men’s soccer triumphs over Providence 3-2 with a tie breaking goal in the 89th minute on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 at Morrone Stadium. The goals were scored by Eli Conway (23), Mateo Leveque (8), and Scott Testori (21) respectively. Photo by Izzi Barton/Daily Campus.

After earning their first road win of the year in dramatic fashion, the UConn men’s soccer team is picking up steam, looking to gain more momentum in a conference showdown with DePaul at Morrone Stadium on Saturday night. 

The Huskies (5-6-2, 2-3-2 Big East) are performing well as of late, posting a 3-1-1 record over their last five games after a less-than-stellar start to the season. With the conference tournament just around the corner, Connecticut is looking to make an appearance as one of the top-six teams in the Big East. Currently, the team sits in eighth place with three conference games to go, but the potential is within reach – just two points currently sit between the Huskies and fourth place.  

UConn is coming off of one of their best games of the season, a 1-0 victory over Villanova on the road. After a quiet first half, the Huskies exploded offensively, putting up 13 shots in the second period. They finally broke through on an Eli Conway goal, who crashed the goal after a Frantz Pierrot strike from beyond the 18-yard box.  

Conway has been quite the pleasant surprise for this Huskies team, working his way into a pivotal role up top. While he starts sporadically, the freshman has made the most of his opportunities, and is currently tied for fourth on the team in points with five. Look for him to continue to make an impact for Connecticut on Saturday night. 

Another player trending up for UConn has been sophomore Scott Testori, who has scored twice in the team’s last four games. He had a few close chances to put the Huskies ahead in Wednesday’s matchup, and with a current shot percentage of .250, Testori will likely break through soon for his fourth goal on the year. His current tally of three is tied with graduate student Pierrot for most on the team. 

Staff Photographer UConn Men’s soccer triumphs over Providence 3-2 with a tie breaking goal in the 89th minute on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 at Morrone Stadium. The goals were scored by Eli Conway (23), Mateo Leveque (8), and Scott Testori (21) respectively. Photo by Izzi Barton/Daily Campus.

DePaul (4-4-6, 1-2-4 Big East) has a similar record to UConn, recently gaining momentum of their own after a home tie of No. 13 Xavier and a 1-0 victory over conference bottom feeder Marquette for their first Big East win of the season. The Blue Devils definitely shouldn’t be counted out, as they are 2-2-1 on the road and have played to the level of top competition this year, tying with four then-top 25 squads.  

The visiting team comes to Storrs also looking to make a postseason push, currently sitting at ninth overall in the conference, one point behind the Huskies. The three points up for grabs in this contest could make or break either one of these team’s seasons. 

The Blue Devils have really spread out their scoring this year, with nine different players scoring one or more goals, with nobody totaling more than two. In the team’s recent win over the Golden Eagles, it was Jake Fuderer who tallied the winning goal off of a penalty kick. The graduate student will look for his second on Saturday night. 

Arguably the top performer for DePaul this year has been goalkeeper Gandhi Cruz, whose .821 save percentage on the season is the 15th-highest in all of Division I Soccer. He only allows an average of one goal per game, and will hope to put up his sixth clean sheet of the year against the Huskies. 

Besides Connecticut trying to reach their conference tournament aspirations, Saturday’s game will hold importance in another way. Before the Big East matchup, the Department of Athletics and the National “C” Club will hold their ceremony to officially name the turf field “Ray Reid Field,” in honor of the legendary men’s soccer coach who stepped down last year. The ceremony is expected to start before the game. 

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Ray Reid Field at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, ConnecticutT. The game will be broadcast live on FloSports with stats provided by StatBroadcast. 

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