Men’s soccer begins conference play with draw in Tampa
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 00:09
In its first American Athletic Conference match, the No. 22 UConn men’s soccer team earned a 1-1 draw in double overtime against the University of South Florida Friday night at Corbett Soccer Stadium. The Huskies are now 3-2-2 (0-0-1 The American) on the season.
Senior midfielder George Fochive helped UConn get off to a quick start just three minutes into the match. After receiving a pass from Edir DaGraca at about 15 yards away from goal, Fochive curled a shot past USF goalkeeper Brentton Muhammad and into the bottom right of the net to put UConn on the board. The goal was Fochive’s first with the Huskies since his transfer from Hawaii Pacific University last season.
UConn’s lead did not last long, however, as a misplayed back pass—a rare defensive mistake—confused the Huskies’ defense and caused goalkeeper Andre Blake to collide with senior defender Michael Mercado to allow USF’s senior forward Kennedy Selorm Adablah score on an empty net. The goal was only the fourth one conceded by the Huskies all the season.
Both teams would continue to battle all match but neither side was able to find the net to break the tie. The Huskies had one of their best opportunities to take the lead with just a minute left in regulation when freshman forward Cyle Larin’s header bounced off Muhammad to set up a rebound for Nicholas Zuniga. However, the sophomore forward’s shot sailed just past the crossbar to force the play into overtime.
UConn had a couple more chances to end the match in the second overtime when both Larin and Zuniga were involved in another sequence at the 101st minute in which they saw both of their shots ringing off the crossbar and the left post, respectively, just seconds apart in a scramble around the box. Neither teams were able to find anything else going for the remainder of the match.
With the draw, UConn snapped its winning streak against USF as the team is now 8-0-1 all-time against the Bulls.
UConn will continue its second consecutive road and conference match next Wednesday, Oct. 2 when they travel to Philadelphia to take the new American member, Temple, at 3 p.m.