Oct. 22, 2013
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to nine games Tuesday night against Yale, defeating the Bulldogs, 1-0, at Reese Stadium in New Haven, Conn. behind freshman Cyle Larin's team-leading seventh goal of the season. UConn improved to 7-2-5 overall and stays at 2-0-4 in the American Athletic Conference, while the Bulldogs fall to 3-8-1.
UConn's goal came at the 63:41 mark when junior midfielder Adria Beso volleyed a beautiful ball from 25 yards out into the box to Larin. The midfielder was able to get a head on the ball, which flew over the outstretched arms of Yale goalkeeper Ryan Simpson, who entered the match at the start of the second half. The assist was Beso's seventh of the season, good for the team lead.
"I thought we were resilient tonight," said 17th-year head coach Ray Reid. "We didn't play well in the first half but we came out aggressive in the second half. Cyle and Adria had a great goal to give us the lead and we were able to get the win."
UConn had several scoring chances in the first half, despite having just two shots in the opening 45 minutes. In the sixth minute, Connecticut junior midfielder DaGraca found an open Larin at the top of the box, but the freshman couldn't get a shot off before a Yale defender confronted him and cleared the ball.
Minutes later, Larin had another scoring chance when senior midfielder Colin Bradley delivered a great through pass to him in the box, though the Yale goalkeeper Blake Brown charged the ball, sliding in and covering it just ahead of Larin.
Connecticut nearly had its first goal of the match in the 23rd minute when freshman defender Kwame Awuah sent an arching pass to Larin in the box from the left side of the field. Larin headed the ball directly off the right post and out of bounds for a goal kick.
The Huskies' final scoring chance in the opening period came at the 36th minute when forward Allando Matheson received a pass in the box from freshman Jakob Nerwinski before a Yale defender was able to take the ball away from the junior.
The Bulldogs had just one scoring opportunity in the first half, which came in the 30th minute when Yale forward Peter Jacobson found some space with the ball in the box. Jacobson then turned and ripped a shot that missed wide of the goal.
The Huskies almost opened up the scoring in the 59th minute after Larin helped the Huskies earn a corner kick. The corner, sent from Beso, found Larin right in front of the Yale goal, but his shot missed high of the net.
Matheson had two chances to add to UConn's goal total late in the match, starting in the 78th minute when he received a pass from Bradley. Matheson charged into the right side of the box and fired at the goal, though the shot missed off the left side of the net. One minute later, Matheson again had the ball in the box after receiving a pass from freshman Ethan Decker. The UConn forward was swarmed by Yale defenders, and was unable to put a shot on goal.
UConn's defense was even better in the second half, allowing zero shots in the period. Yale's one shot in the match was the fewest for a Connecticut opponent this season, and with the result Husky junior goalkeeper Andre Blake earned his fifth shutout and fifth victory of the season.
Connecticut's nine game unbeaten streak is the longest for the Huskies since last season, when it held an unbeaten streak of 11 matches. On the night, the Huskies out-shot the Bulldogs 8-1.
The Huskies return to the pitch this Saturday against Cincinnati at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium for their final regular season home match of the season. Nine seniors will be honored for Senior Night and kickoff is set for 7 p.m.