Aug 18, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's soccer team kicked off the first of two exhibition matches with a 4-0 victory over Iona at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in front of a crowd of 661 fans.
The Huskies opened the scoring early in the contest when forward Mamadou Diouf successful converted a penalty kick at 10:38. The chance was created when Diouf was pulled down by the Iona goalkeeper in the box after outracing two Gael defenders to the ball.
Connecticut maintained possession for the most of the first half, outshooting Iona 11-2, including two excellent chances created by Nicholas Zuniga. At the 21:17 mark, Zuniga made an excellent pass to Diouf who fired a shot high. Less than three minutes later, Zuniga received the ball at the top left of the box, side-stepped a defender, and hit a laser right into the chest of the Iona goalkeeper.
The Huskies made a series of changes at the beginning of the second half, including the substitution of goalkeeper Jacob Wagmeister for Andre Blake, who played the entire first half. The Gaels recorded just two shots in the first half of play and failed to put any shots on goal.
Early in the second half, a pair of newcomers, freshman Cyle Larin, and junior Edir DeGraca teamed up for UConn's second goal. The two exchanged passes in the middle of the box before Larin fired a shot into the bottom right corner to give the Huskies a 2-0 edge.
At 55:43, Allando Matheson outraced an Iona defender on a long pass from midfield. Matheson stopped, juked, and passed the ball back to a cutting Juho Karppinen who buried the shot into the bottom right corner of the goal. Karppinen's great night continued at the 69:43 mark when his shot deflected off a Gael defender and ricocheted past the diving goalkeeper to put the Huskies up 4-0.
Iona had few real chances throughout the game with the best opportunity coming with in the 71st minute. Alex Ramos broke free and headed towards the top of the box but waited too long to attempt a shot before a sliding UConn defender was able to knock the ball away from danger.
"I just thought it was good that we got a lot of the guys into the game," said head coach Ray Reid. "I think we played pretty well but we have some work to do this week."
The Huskies will be back in action on August 24th when they take on NJIT at 7 p.m. in the final exhibition match of the season at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The regular season will open the following weekend when UConn faces St. Francis (N.Y.) at home at 7 p.m.