TAMPA, Fla. – Despite putting up 10 shots, the UConn men’s soccer team fell, 1-0, to conference rival USF on Saturday night at Corbett Stadium in Tampa, Fla. With the setback, UConn falls to 3-2-3 overall (0-1-0, The American), while USF improves to 6-2-0 (1-0-0, The American).
The Bulls got on the board first in at the 60th minute when Nazeem Bartman tallied his third goal of the season, pushing a shot past redshirt-sophomore keeper Scott Levene on the far post. Assists were credited to Macrus Epps and Melvin Becket on the scoring play.
Levene was tagged with the loss despite making six saves and thwarting three Bulls’ corner attempts. Preseason Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Spasoje Stefanovic earned the win with a three-save effort in net.
UConn earned three-straight corner kicks in the third minute after Awuah blasted a shot on target that was knocked away by Stefanovic. In total, the Huskies held a 4-to-3 corner edge throughout the 90-minute match.
Centerbacks Elliott Ackroyd and Simen Olafsen thwarted an excellent USF opportunity midway through the first half, poking the ball away from the Bulls’ forward and clearing away the danger. In the 50th minute, Levene dove to his left to knock away an attempt on a corner kick.
With eight minutes remaining in the opening stanza, junior Sebastian Brems one-timed a shot from 20 yards out that trickled wide left of the net.
Freshman forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam had a look in the 72nd minute when he collected a bouncing ball at the top of the box and fired a shot that sailed over the crossbar. Connecticut nearly equalized the match with less than 10 seconds left in the match when Awuah sent in a corner kick that found the head of senior defender Istvan Kanyo, but his shot was saved.
The Huskies now stand at 9-2-3 all-time against the Bulls in a series that dates back to 1988.
The team returns to Joseph J. Morrone Stadium for a non-conference tilt against Providence on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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