Sept. 21, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - A pair of freshmen paced No. 12 UConn to a 2-1 victory over No. 10 Saint Louis in front of a crowd of 4,122 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium Saturday night. With the win, Connecticut improves to 3-2-1 on the season, while Saint Louis falls to 4-2.
Connecticut midfielder Cyle Larin scored his team-leading second goal of the season at the 17:20 minute mark after receiving a pass in the box from junior midfielder Adria Beso. Larin turned with the ball, and fired a shot in the right side of the net past Saint Louis goalkeeper Nick Shackelford.
In the 51st minute, midfielder Ethan Decker gave UConn a 2-0 lead after bending a free kick from 25 yards over a Saint Louis wall of defenders and into the corner of the net. The goal was Decker’s first as a Husky and the first score for Connecticut in a second half this season.
Saint Louis made things interesting in the 71st minute, when Billiken midfielder Alex Sweetin scored on a penalty kick after a Connecticut defender was called for a hand ball in the box. Sweetin’s shot slipped by the outstretched hands of Blake into the top left corner of the goal.
Saint Louis had very few scoring chances early on, as the Connecticut defense held the Billikens to just three shots in the first half. Their best opportunity of the half came in the 23rd minute when forward Robert Kristo fired a shot from the top of the box right into the hands of UConn junior goalkeeper Andre Blake.
UConn continued to test Shackelford in the second half, as the Huskies had several great scoring chances at the beginning of the period. In the 50th minute, Ethan Decker sent a beautiful ball in the box to junior midfielder Edir DaGraca, but the Saint Louis defense headed it away from danger.
Connecticut freshman defender Kwame Awuah nearly had Connecticut’s third goal of the night in the 59th minute when he ripped a shot from the top of the box towards the top half of the goal. The ball deflected off the hands of a leaping Shackelford, who had five saves on the night.
Saturday’s result was the first time UConn scored two goals in a match this season, as the Connecticut offense looked as good as it has all season.
“I thought we were dangerous tonight,” Connecticut coach Ray Reid said. “We came to play.”
UConn’s defense remained tough throughout the second half, giving up just one shot in the final 45 minutes. Connecticut held Saint Louis, who came into the game averaging 16.8 shots a game, to just four shots the entire night. Andre Blake finished the game with one save as he earned his third victory of the season.
Connecticut returns to action Friday, September 27 when it goes on the road to face South Florida. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.