TAMPA, Fla. - The UConn men's soccer team earned its 13th-ever conference regular season title on Saturday, defeating No. 25 USF, 1-0, behind a first half goal from sophomore forward Ethan Vanacore-Decker (Manahawkin, N.J.). The win gave the Huskies (9-6-2, 6-1-1 American) the top overall seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, which begins with the quarterfinal round on Nov. 8. South Florida fell to 9-7-1 overall and finished the year at 4-3-1 in conference play with the loss.
Vanacore-Decker's goal came off a great UConn counter attack in the 29th minute. Sophomore midfielder Kwame Awuah (Toronto, Ontario) led the break, charging into the attacking third and slipping the ball to Vanacore-Decker, who gathered the ball in the box and fired a shot into the left corner of the net past USF goalkeeper Spasoje Stefanovic. The goal was Vanacore-Decker's fifth of the season, as the striker pushed his point total this year to 12.
The Bulls, who outshot the Huskies, 7-1, in the opening half, struggled to produce any serious scoring chances in the first 45 minutes and UConn headed into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
Awuah tallied two shots out of the break before UConn saw its first quality scoring chance in the 61st minute. A USF foul gave the Huskies a free kick outside of the box and the ball in from senior midfielder Adria Beso Marco (Lleida, Spain) nearly found the back of the net, curling past multiple South Florida defenders before going out of bounds wide left.
The Connecticut defense was sensational in the second half, holding USF to zero shots on goal in the final 45 minutes. UConn redshirt freshman goalkeeper Scott Levene (Stamford, Conn.) matched a career-high with four saves in victory, as he tallied his sixth career shutout and improved his record this season to 7-1-1.
Saturday's win marked UConn's second straight win over a ranked opponent and improved Connecticut's 2014 road record to 4-3-1.
The Huskies, who have won five straight, return to action next Saturday when they host Temple at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Championship at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. UConn defeated the Owls, 3-1, at home earlier this season on Oct. 22.
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