Storrs, Conn. – The UConn men’s soccer team punched its ticket to the American Conference Championship on Saturday night, earning a 1-1 draw against SMU on Senior Night at Morrone Stadium.
The Huskies finish the regular season (11-6-1, 3-4-1 American) in third place in The American with 10 points. UConn will play the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 11 at 4:30 p.m. from Corbett Soccer Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
The Huskies honored their six seniors prior to the match on Saturday; goalkeeper Chris Musco (North Haven, Conn.), defender Jesse Wasserman (Farmington, Conn.), midfielder Nick Zuniga (Norwalk, Conn.), midfielder Sebastian Brems(Odense, Denmark) and team captains, defender Jake Nerwinski (Lawrenceville, N.J.) and midfielder Kwame Awuah (Toronto, Ont.).
The Huskies generated a few chances early against the Mustangs, in the 11th minute Dylan Greenberg (Dix Hills, N.Y.) found freshmen Munir Saleh (Kitchener, Ont.) on a header attempt, inside the box that was saved by the SMU keeper.
A few moments later Jake Nerwinski teed up a shot that was blocked down by the SMU defense, keeping the game scoreless.
UConn took the lead in the 23rd minute when Andrew Geres (Portland, Conn.) placed a service into the box that found Simen Olafsen (Oppegaard, Norway) who headed the chance home for his second goal of the year.
The Huskies nearly doubled their lead in the 56th minute when Abdou Mbacke Thiam (Dakar, Senegal) was able to create space and slid a shot past the keeper but his shot banged off the post, keeping it 1-0 Huskies.
The Mustangs capitalized moments later with an equalizer from Garrett McLaughlin, who notched his fourth goal of the season.
In the double-overtime period, Kwame Awuah nearly gave the Huskies the win in the 109th minute when he slithered past the defense for a one-on-one opportunity with the SMU keeper but Awuah’s shot was knocked away and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Huskies and Golden Hurricane square off in the first semifinal next Friday, while UCF and the host-school, USF will tussle at 7 p.m. Winners of both matches will advance to the championship game at noon on Sunday November 13th. The Huskies semifinal matchup will be streamed on the American Digital Network.