SEATTLE, Wash. – First half goals from sophomores Ethan Vanacore-Decker (Manahawkin, N.J.) and Jakob Nerwinski (Lawrenceville, N.J.) and senior midfielder Adria Beso Marco (Lleida, Spain) paced the UConn men’s soccer team to a 3-1 win over Seattle University Sunday afternoon at Championship Field in Seattle. The Huskies improve to 2-3 with the win, while the Redhawks fall to 3-2.
Vanacore-Decker put the Huskies on the board in the 9th minute, slotting home his second goal of the season off a cross from Nerwinski. Nerwinski, who earned an assist on the play, found some space near the right side of the box and slipped the ball towards Vanacore-Decker, who fired a shot from the top of the box that beat Seattle goalkeeper Shane Haworth.
In the 30th minute, Nerwinski doubled Connecticut’s lead, as a cross from Beso Marco eventually fell to the Connecticut defender. Beso Marco’s cross found Vanacore-Decker, and the UConn forward relayed it to junior forward Nicholas Zuniga (Norwalk, Conn.), who fired a shot that deflected to striker Cyle Larin (Brampton, Ontario). Larin tapped the ball towards Nerwinski near the top of the box, and the defender ripped a shot that sailed into the net past Haworth. Larin was credited with the assist, as the UConn forward earned his 9th point of the season for the Huskies, while Nerwinski finished Sunday's match with a career-high three points.
UConn pushed its lead to 3-0 on a counter attack in the 39th minute when senior midfielder Edir DaGraca (Sao Nicolau, Cape Verdes Island) moved the ball in transition. DaGraca eventually found Zuniga, who earned Connecticut a penalty kick after he was taken down in the box by a Seattle defender, and Beso Marco was chosen to take the kick. The Connecticut midfielder calmly fired a shot to the right corner of the net to give the Huskies their biggest halftime lead of the season.
The Redhawks cut into the Connecticut lead in the 79th minute, scoring on a cross from the right side of the box. Seattle defender Nick Prasad found some space in the attacking third, and curled in a pass to forward Hamza Haddadi, who headed the ball past UConn redshirt junior goalkeeper Jacob Wagmeister. Haddadi had a chance to open the scoring for Seattle in the 46th minute when he made a move and fired a shot from the top left corner of the box that was saved by Wagmeister.
The Huskies saw several quality scoring chances in the second half, as Nerwinski, Larin and senior forward Allando Matheson (North York, Ontario) all had chances to score. Nerwinski’s shot in the 59th minute from the right side of the box sailed high, while Larin found himself with the ball in transition in the 76th minute, though his chip on missed wide right.
In the 83rd minute, senior midfielder DaGraca sent in a great pass to Matheson near the top of the box, and the UConn forward fired a shot that sailed above the goal and the danger was cleared. Wagmeister earned his fourth victory in the win, finishing the match with six saves.
Connecticut returns to the pitch on Friday, Sept. 19 when it faces Iona at home at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The match, set for 7 p.m., will be the first home game for the Huskies since Sept. 1.