Sept. 17, 2013
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The No. 12 University of Connecticut men’s soccer team dropped its second match of the season, 1-0, to Syracuse on Tuesday evening at the SU Soccer Stadium in New York. With the loss, Connecticut falls to 2-2-1 on the season, while Syracuse improves to 4-2-0.
The loss marks the first time UConn has lost back-to-back regular season games since the 2008-09 season when the Huskies fell, consecutively, to West Virginia and Providence in early October.
Despite outshooting the Orange by a 4-2 margin in the first half, the Huskies couldn’t find the back of the net as goalkeeper Alex Bono was able to record three saves. In the 13th minute, Adria Beso threaded a pass to Mamadou Diouf, who sent a shot towards the bottom right corner of the net but it was saved by a diving Bono. The Huskies corralled the rebound but Beso’s shot was blocked by an Orange defender.
Syracuse got on the board in the 24th minute when freshman midfielder Alex Halis scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season. Halis found the back of the net after collecting the ball, which popped into the air off the thigh of defender Sergio Campbell in the box.
In the 23rd minute, DaGraca had a good chance for Connecticut, finding space from 22 yards out, but his shot curled wide right of the net. The Huskies had one final chance in the first half, coming in the 28th minute, when Diouf sent a cross to Larin who one-timed a shot towards the bottom left corner of the goal, which was saved again by a sprawling Bono.
Senior defender Michael Mercado, who was named the American Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, thwarted a Syracuse counter-attack in the 41st minute, knocking the ball away from danger as the Syracuse forwards approached the top of the box.
Six minutes into the second half, the Orange looked to have doubled their lead when Chris Nanco appeared to find the back of the net after colliding with Andre Blake. The referees waved off the goal, citing the excessive contact between the Orange forward and the Husky goalkeeper.
In the 70th minute, Awuah had a good look at the goal but had his shot blocked by the defense. Larin had two chances late in the contest, but Bono was once again up to the challenge, making a body-save in the 74th minute to preserve to 1-0 lead. With less than nine minutes remaining, Alex Sanchez delivered a great corner kick to Larin, whose header missed just wide.
Andre Blake played all 90 minutes, without making a save. He sits a 2-2-1 on the season, while his counterpart Bono made five saves for the Orange and improves to 4-2-0.
The Huskies are back in action this Saturday, September 21st when they take on No. 10 Saint Louis at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium at 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-877- AT – UCONN.