STORRS, Conn. - After over 200 scoreless minutes to start the season, the No. 24 UConn men's soccer team finally put the ball in the back of the net in an exciting 1-0 overtime win against Quinnipiac on Monday night at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
In front of an announced crowd of 4,666, the Huskies (1-1-0) received a 94th-minute goal from junior captain Abdou Mbacke Thiam to earn the sudden-goal victory over the Bobcats - avenging Friday night's double-overtime loss to Iona.
UConn outshot Quinnipiac, 15-2, in a dominant showing on the first day of class for all students on campus. Thiam fired a game-high seven shots throughout the match, missing several opportunities, but knocking one home at the most crucial time.
The play started when freshman Josh Burnett was taking the ball up the field and found redshirt junior Dylan Greenberg on the left wing. Greenberg then took it down the left side and fed it across to Thiam, who pounded it past Quinnipiac goalkeeper Chrys Iakovidis.
"Cheikh Coly, our defensive midfielder, broke out of the pressure and gave it to Josh (Burnett) and I saw the run," said Greenberg. "While making my run, I saw Abdou crossing into the box, I found him and he finished."
When asked how important the win was, considering it is just the second game and the month of August has not yet ended, Greenberg didn't downplay it.
"We needed this. We needed this feeling because now we ended our scoreless streak. It's the best feeling I've had in a while," said Greenberg. "It's a good start to the season."
For the second straight game, the Huskies dominated offensively - earning 10 corner kicks to Quinnipiac's one. Valuable chances were squandered late in regulation, however, resulting in overtime.
In the 90th minute, a cross right in front of the goal line just missed the foot of Thiam, while five minutes before, Thiam crossed to Burnett who hit an open shot off the side of his foot, pushing it wide.
In the 84th minute, freshman Austin DaSilva found Thiam at the far post, but a mishit header also kept the game scoreless. UConn had a 10-1 shots advantage in the second half.
The Huskies had multiple scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes as well, including a run by Thiam down the right sideline near the UConn bench. The junior captain dribbled into the box and crossed to Burnett, but the ball was deflected wide of the post.
Greenberg had a chance in the 25th minute, but put his free kick over the crossbar after junior Dayonn Harris drew a foul outside the box on a breakaway.
Thiam had shots in the 14th and 23rd minutes, getting feeds from Harris, but was unable to finish in front of the large Goal Patrol crowd.
UConn's defense was just as solid as the offense, with the Bobcats not recording a single shot in the first half. The Huskies held a 4-0 edge in shots and a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks at the time.
The Huskies return to Morrone Stadium on Saturday night for a showdown with rival No. 10 Notre Dame at 7 p.m. (ET).
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