STORRS, Conn. – Despite a first half score from senior defender Istvan Kanyo, the UConn men’s soccer team fell, 2-1, to No. 15 Syracuse on Saturday night at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in its final exhibition match of the preseason. The team will open the regular season on Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. against St. Francis Brooklyn at Morrone Stadium.
The Huskies opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Kanyo found the back of the net on a set piece. After a hard tackle on Dylan Greenberg earned the squad a free kick, freshman forward Abdou Thiam lofted a cross into the box where it bounced off a foot of an Orange defender to Kanyo who gathered and deposited his shot into the bottom left corner of the cage.
Syracuse knotted the game at one in the 30th minute when midfielder Julian Buescher took a pass from Oyvind Alseth on the left wing and beat Husky keeper Scott Levene with a rocket into the top right corner of the net.
The Orange took their first lead of the night at the 69:08 mark after Buescher created space at the top left of the box and curled an attempt past the dive of Levene to push the score to 2-1.
Syracuse held a 9-to-8 shot advantage for the match, despite a 5-to-3 edge for the Huskies in the second half.
Levene took the loss after allowing both goals, while Austin Avisa notched a pair of saves in the victory.
Connecticut's first scoring chance of the match came in the seventh minute when junior captain Kwame Awuah beat an Orange midfielder down the right wing and flipped a cross into Thiam at the top of the box but the freshman's attempt sailed over the bar.
The Huskies nearly went up by a goal in the opening moments of the second half after redshirt-sophomore Alex Sanchez ripped an attempt from the top of the box that skipped wide right. In the 66th minute, Thiam fired a shot from 20 yards out that skipped off the chest of Avisa but the Syracuse keeper was able to smother the ball before Fredrik Jonsson could get a foot on it.
Awuah nearly found the equalizer in the 82nd minute, flicking an attempt that rose just above the crossbar.
Next up, the Huskies will open the 2015 regular season on Friday, Aug. 28 when they host St. Francis Brooklyn at Morrone Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Admission is free for students with a valid Husky ID.