STORRS, Conn. - Sophomore forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam (Dakar, Senegal) scored a pair of goals, while redshirt-junior midfielder Andrew Geres (Portland, Conn.) registered four points as the UConn men's soccer team rolled past Loyola (Md.), 5-1, on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 3,666 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. With the win, the Huskies jump to 4-3-0, while the Greyhounds drop to 1-5-0 overall.
With the victory, Connecticut improves to 25-6-7 at Morrone Stadium since the start of the 2013 campaign and has outscored opponents, 24-to-7, in its last 10 home matches. Additionally, the Huskies' five-goal output marks the team's highest total since it topped Temple, 5-0, in the 2014 American Athletic Conference quarterfinals.
The Huskies opened up a 1-0 lead at the 16:58 mark of the match when junior midfielder Alex Sanchez (Corona, Calif.) tallied his second goal of the year, beating the keeper on the near post. Junior Andrew Geres (Portland, Conn.) was credited with the assist on the scoring play.
Loyola knotted the game up less than 10 minutes later when Matt Bautista buried a loose ball in the box. 2:03 seconds later, Thiam put the Huskies back up, 2-1, beating the keeper on the far post on an assist from Geres. For Thiam, the score marked his team-leading third goal of the 2016 campaign.
Geres padded the Connecticut lead just 48 seconds into the second half, taking a pass from Sebastian Brems (Odense, Denmark) on the right side of the box before beating the keeper on the near post. Less than three minutes later, Thiam capped off a stellar night, taking a cross from Nerwinski and beating Sanchez to extend the Husky advantage to 4-1.
With just over 30 minutes remaining in the match, Husky tri-captain Jake Nerwinski (Lawrenceville, N.J.) found the back of the net for the first time in 2016, pushing the Connecticut lead to 5-1.
Redshirt-junior Scott Levene (Stamford, Conn.) grabbed his fourth victory in the net, while Matt Sanchez was tagged with the loss after allowing all five Husky scores.
The game's first chance came in the sixth minute when Nerwinski lobbed a cross toward Thiam, who tried a one-timer that sailed over the bar.
In the 13th minute, the Huskies earned back-to-back corner attempts but were unable to settle the ball in the box and get a shot off before Sanchez came off his line to thwart the threat.
In total, UConn out-shot the Greyhounds, 13-to-4, and held a 6-to-2 corner kick advantage.
Connecticut continues non-conference play on Wednesday, Sept. 21 when it travels to Kingston, R.I. to challenge URI at 7 p.m. A complete preview will be available on uconnhuskies.com on Monday afternoon.