STORRS, Conn. – Junior co-captain Jake Nerwinski tallied the go-ahead goal in the 80th minute to propel the UConn men’s soccer team to a 2-1 win over UCF on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 5,100 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. With the victory, the Huskies improve to 4-5-4 (1-3-1 The American), while UCF drops to 5-7-1 overall.
Connecticut improves to 3-1-4 at Morrone Stadium in 2015 and also stands at 3-0-0 when tallying at least two goals. In eight games against UCF, UConn is 7-0-1 and 3-0-1 against the Knights as conference opponents.
Nerwinski's third career goal came at the 79:50 mark on a corner from fellow co-captain Kwame Awuah. Awuah sent in a curler which found Nerwinski on the far post and was finished into the top left corner of the net.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead at 42:37 mark when freshman forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam took a pass from Awuah and buried a shot into the top left corner of the net. For Thiam, the goal marked his team-leading fourth score of 2015.
UCF knotted the game up at one in the 58th minute when Mason Miller collected a corner attempt from Matias Pyysalo and poked a header in past the outstretched glove of Husky keeper Scott Levene.
Levene picked up his fourth win of the 2015 campaign, making a pair of saves in the 90-minute match. His counterpart, Brendan Rennie stopped five Husky shots but allowed both goals.
Freshman forward Fredrik Jonsson had the game's first chance in the sixth minute, taking a pass in the box and working against a defender with his back to the goal before putting up a shot that was knocked away by Rennie.
Connecticut had a promising look with six minutes left in the first half after redshirt-sophomore Andrew Geres laid off a ball to junior co-captain Jake Nerwinski in the box. Nerwinski took the ball in the stride but couldn't get a cross away before the ball was knocked over the endline for a corner.
Levene made a sliding save in the 27th minute, knocking away a curling attempt off the leg of Matias Pyysalo.
Awuah made a pair of defenders miss along the left bound line before passing to Jonsson, who dribbled in toward goal and had his shot rejected by a sliding Rennie.
Junior midfielder Sebastian Brems fired a shot from 18 yards out with 13 minutes remaining in regulation but Rennie made a diving effort to knock the shot away.
UConn’s crowd of 5,100 marks the second sellout of the season.
Next up, the Huskies hit the road for a tilt against conference foe Temple on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.