On a rainy night in New Jersey, UConn visited Seton Hall for their first Big East road matchup of the season. A highly anticipated match for both schools started to look like a runaway game for Seton Hall until a late UConn push brought the game closer.
Scoring started in just the 13th minute of the game for Seton Hall. UConn’s Max Gummesson blocked a cross from Sam Bjork but the ball rolled right in front of midfielder Hugo Gerbore. He fired a shot into the top right corner of the net to put the Pirates up by one. Four minutes later, Seton Hall found the back of the net again. Forward Andrea Borg placed the ball with just enough room for teammate Rikard Cederberg to slip past multiple UConn defenders and score.
This ended up being the last score before the teams left for the lockers, but it wouldn’t be the last time we’d see Cederberg score this game. In the 63rd minute, the junior defender from Sweden got on the receiving end of a great pass from James Boote and headed the ball past the outstretched arms of UConn goalie Jayden Hibbert to bring the Pirates up 3-0.
UConn showed a lot of heart on the pitch despite being down three goals to a conference opponent. While many may have started to count them out, the Huskies began to chip away at the lead to put pressure on the Pirates.
Gummesson scored his first goal as a Husky in the 65th minute to put UConn in the scoring column. Pirates goalie Mats Roorda blocked a corner kick from the Huskies, but the ball slipped through his hands to create the chance for Gummesson to bring the Huskies within two.
In the 83rd minute, UConn’s Nicolas Tomerius cut Seton Hall’s lead to just one. Kieran Chandler kicked the ball to the back post to where Tomerius and Scott Testori were waiting. Both Huskies jumped for the ball, and it was Tomerius who headed it to the opposite end of the net for UConn’s second score of the game.
With two second half goals, it was beginning to look like the momentum was shifting in favor of the Huskies. However, an 89th minute penalty shot by Boote deflated any hopes of a tie, bringing Seton Hall’s lead back to two just as time expired.
Both Boote (1 goal, 2 assists) and Cederberg (2 goals) finished the game with four points each for Seton Hall. Roorda saved five shots and allowed two while Hibbert only saved two shots and allowed four goals. Sophomore Pierce Bateson played a vital role in the Huskies’ attack, leading the team in shots (4), shots on goal (2, tied with Gummesson) and assists (1, tied with Chandler). UConn outshot Seton Hall 14-6 but only seven of their shots ended up on goal. Following a 4-1 victory in their last game against Bucknell, this marked the first time that Seton Hall has scored four goals in back-to-back matches since 2007.
UConn’s next game will be against the Villanova Wildcats at home this Friday. The Wildcats are 1-3-3 on the season and are coming into the match having earned their first win against conference opponent Providence this past Saturday. Villanova was down one until the 77th minute when Marcus Brenes scored his second goal of the game to bring the game even. Balthi Saunders, the team’s leading scorer, capped off the night with a goal of his own in what became the deciding factor for the Wildcats in earning their first victory of 2023.
While UConn has the better head-to-head record of all-time, Villanova has played well against them recently. In two of their last three meetings, it’s been the Wildcats who have walked away victorious. Their last matchup was in October 2022, in which the Huskies battled their way to a 1-0 win on the road in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. Friday’s theme for the game is “Bleed Blue, Wear White.” For those unable to attend, the game is available on FloSports.