TAMPA, Fla. – Despite playing to a 1-1 score in 110 minutes of play, the UConn men’s soccer team fell in penalty kicks to Tulsa in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Sunday, Nov. 15 at Corbett Stadium in Tampa. UConn moves to 9-5-6 and will await a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, while Tulsa moves to 7-6-6 and earns an automatic berth into the tournament.
The NCAA men’s soccer selection show is set for Monday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. Connecticut has earned trips to the tournament in 16 of the last 17 years.
Redshirt-senior midfielder Tyler Leeman gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead just 2:57 minutes into the game when he took a pass from junior co-captain Kwame Awuah and headed a shot into the upper right corner of the net. For Leeman, it marked his third career score, while Awuah picked up his team-leading 11th assist of the year.
The Golden Hurricane knotted up the match at one apiece late in the first half when Miguel Velasquez side-stepped a defender in the box and put in a shot on the near post before advancing past the Huskies, 4-3, in a penalty kick shootout.
Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Scott Levene shined in the shootout, making two stops. In total, the Husky keeper made six saves, while his counterpart Jake McGuire stopped three Connecticut shots in the 110-minute match.
Thiam nearly doubled the Huskies’ lead in the eighth minute, finding space in the box and firing a left-footed attempt that slipped just wide right of the frame.
Levene preserved the 1-1 tie in the 56th minute, making a save on a shot from Ray Saari from 14-yards out. Freshman forward DeAndrae Brown had an excellent look in the 71st minute, turning and put a shot on goal that was saved by a diving McGuire.
The Huskies had an opportunity in the 95th minute when Leeman sent in a cross that bounced off MgGuire’s hands but Awuah couldn’t get a shot off before it was cleared out.
The Huskies are unbeaten in their last eight matches (6-0-2) dating back to Oct. 17.
To keep up with the team during the postseason, follow @UConnMSOC on Twitter. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtags #EveryGameMatters or #EGM for the 2015 campaign.