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Thiam Scores First Two Career Goals in UConn's 2-1 Comeback Win Over UC Santa Barbara

Abdou Mbacke Thiam scored twice in the Huskies' comeback win over UCSB on Sunday night.
Sept. 13, 2015

Final Stats

STORRS, Conn. - With his team down 1-0 with less than seven minutes remaining, freshman forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam tallied his first two career goals in a span on 2:19 to give the UConn men's soccer team a dramatic 2-1 comeback win over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday night in front of a crowd of over 2,800 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. With the victory, the Huskies jump up to 2-0-3 in the 2015 campaign, while the Guachos drop to 2-2-1.

UConn extended its unbeaten streak to 12-straight, dating back to 2014 and scored its fourth second-half goal in its last two matches. Over the 12 match stretch, the Huskies have outscored their opponents by a 16-to-3 margin.

After UCSB took a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick in the 58th minute, Thiam knotted the game at 83:34 when he collected a loose ball in the middle of the box on a corner kick and tapped it over the goal line for his first career point. Junior captain Kwame Awuah was credited with the assist after sending in the corner kick.

Less than three minutes later, Awuah took the ball down the left flank and laid in a ball to Thiam at the top of the box. The freshman collected the pass in stride and fired a shot into the back of the net to put the Huskies up 2-1.



Redshirt-sophomore keeper Scott Levene picked up his second win of the year, making three saves. UCSB keeper Justin Vom Steeg allowed both Husky goals and stopped three attempts on goal.

In the 12th minute, Nerwinski was pulled down at the top of the box, earning a free kick. Thiam's ensuing attack was knocked just over the cross for a corner and the Santa Barbara backline was able to thwart the attack despite a dangerous cross in from freshman defender Moustapha Samb.

Nine minutes later, Sanchez sent in a curler on a free kick that found that head of defender Simen Olafsen but clanked off the post and was cleared off the line by the Guachos. In the 26th minute, Sanchez picked off an ill-advised pass near midfield and sent a through ball into to Thiam, who dribbled and fired a shot from 20 yards over the crossbar.

Levene made an excellent play with six minutes left in the first half, coming off his line to slide and grab a dangerous lob pass from midfield.

Olafsen preserved the 0-0 tie in the 51st minute, sliding to clear the ball off the line on a header by Nick DePuy. Thiam nearly had the equalizer at the 68-minute mark, sending a free kick at the top of the box just over the top right of the crossbar.

Former UConn head coach Joe Morrone was in attendance during the match, sitting on the endline.

After a five-day break, the Huskies return to the pitch on Saturday, Sept. 19 when they play host to Rhode Island. Kickoff at Morrone Stadium is set for 7 p.m.