Men’s Soccer: Testori leads UConn to first Big East win of 2023 

UConn men’s soccer wins a hard-fought conference match against St. John’s with a score of 2-1 at the Morrone Stadium on Sept. 15, 2023. The Huskies improve their record to 4-2. Photo by Skyler Kim/The Daily Campus

UConn welcomed St. John’s this past Friday for their first Big East game of the 2023 season. Following a season in which the Huskies finished in the middle of the pack in their conference, UConn looked to start this year off on the right foot, and that’s exactly what they did.  

The Huskies and the Red Storm traded chances to start the game, but neither side was able to capitalize until the 27th minute. Led by UConn’s Eli Conway, the Huskies looked to go up early as he wound up to shoot but was tackled by a Red Storm defender, who kicked the ball loose between several players. Husky Scott Testori got to the ball first, firing a bullet into the lower left corner of the goal to give the Huskies the lead. 

This wasn’t the only time Testori would get the Huskies into the scoring column. In the 49th minute, Pierce Bateson passed to Testori who sent it right back to a now open Bateson. The sophomore fired a shot past a diving Alec McLachlan to bring the UConn lead up to two and to score his second goal of the season. Bateson finished the match with three total shots, all of which were on goal. 

The Red Storm responded with a goal of their own in the 61st minute of the game. Sophomore Connor Mucchetti sent a lead pass across the pitch to create just enough time for Nicolas Fleuriau Chateau to gain separation from his defender. Chateau then dribbled past a diving Jayden Hibbert and scored on the open net for St. John’s lone goal. After missing all of last season with an injury, the redshirt junior has made the most of his opportunity this season. He secured his fifth goal in seven games against the Huskies to become the team’s leading scorer. 

Though the Red Storm continued their offensive attack throughout the remainder of the second half, UConn was able to prevent another score to secure their first Big East win and fourth overall win of the season. This also marked the Huskies’ first win against St. John’s since 2012 after rejoining the Big East Conference in 2020. 

UConn won despite the fact that St. John’s doubled their shot attempts with 14; however, the Huskies ended up with three more shots on goal — five to the Red Storm’s two.  

Junior Testori’s fingerprints are all over this game for UConn. With the goal on Friday, the Connecticut native tied freshman Lucas Almeida for most goals for the Huskies at three each so far.  

Head coach Chris Gbandi gave high praise to his leading scorer, saying, “I’m just happy for Scott, he works hard, he’s a guy that never complains. For him to come out here and score against a great team, I think it says a lot about his work ethic.”  

As for Testori, here’s what he had to say about the game: “I’d say we were ready [for the physicality]. I think we matched their intensity; we matched their physicality in almost every way.”  

Throughout the season, Coach Gbandi has switched up his lineup depending on his opponents. This was the first time this season that Conway and Testori started the same game, and it paid off for UConn.  

When asked about his relationship with Eli Conway, Testori said, “It’s like we’re kind of on the same page at all times, we got a telepathic connection in a sort of way. Every time we’re up top together there’s danger to the defense and I love it.”  

UConn wraps up their three-game homestand on Tuesday with a match against in-state rival Central Connecticut back at Morrone Stadium. CCSU is heading into Tuesday’s game following their worst loss of the season so far, a 5-0 shutout against UMass Lowell. The Blue Devils are 2-4 with wins against St. Bonaventure and Quinnipiac.  

For those who can’t attend, Tuesday’s game can be streamed on UConn+. The theme for the game is Homegrown Huskies with a scheduled start of 7 p.m. at Joesph J. Morrone Stadium. 

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