IONA: Stats | Video
QUINNIPIAC: Stats | Video
STORRS, Conn. – The No. 24 UConn men’s soccer team prepares for the opening weekend of the season when Iona and Quinnipiac visit Joseph J. Morrone Stadium for a pair of 7 p.m. (ET) kickoffs on Friday and Monday.
The Huskies begin their 2017 campaign under 21-year head coach Ray Reid, having qualified for 18 of the past 20 NCAA Tournaments. UConn enters its fifth season as a member of the American Athletic Conference.
Both matches can be followed on live stats or viewed on Husky Vision for subscribed members, while tickets can be purchased HERE. Student admission is free for both the Iona and Quinnipiac games; tickets are available at the UConn Ticket Office.
Ranked No. 24 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, the Huskies were also chosen to finish first in the conference, according to the AAC Preseason Poll. Junior captains Abdou Mbacke Thiam and Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, as well as redshirt junior Dylan Greenberg, were elected to the Preseason All-Conference Team.
A pair of opponents from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) open the slate for UConn, including the Iona Gaels, who lost 3-1 to the Huskies in the 2016 season-opener at Morrone Stadium. Iona went 5-13 (4-6 MAAC) last season.
Quinnipiac finished 2016 with a 13-7 (8-2 MAAC) record and lost to Rider University, 3-1, in the MAAC Championship game. Eamon Whelan, named 2016 MAAC Rookie of the Year, led the team with 11 goals and earned a spot on the All-MAAC First Team.
LAST TIME OUT
UConn lost to North Carolina State in an exhibition match, 4-1, this past Saturday at Morrone Stadium. Sophomore Niko Petridis gave the Huskies a 1-0 halftime lead with his goal in the 43rd minute. In the second half, UConn played several reserves against the Wolfpack.
Since 2010, UConn is 5-1-1 in season-openers and have made a habit of being at home. The Huskies haven’t played a road season-opener since 2003 at Wake Forest. In Reid’s tenure, UConn is 11-7-2 in the first game of the year.
Friday will be the sixth all-time meeting between UConn and Iona, with the Huskies holding a 3-0-2 lead in the series – which dates back to 1995. Monday’s game will be the fourth all-time meeting with Quinnipiac (UConn 1-0-2).
UConn returns 18 players to the program in 2017, including Thiam – the team’s leading scorer each of the past two seasons. Petridis and sophomore Munir Saleh also return after earning All-Conference Rookie Team accolades as freshmen. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Scott Levene has made 52 consecutive starts between the posts, the third-longest streak in program history.
The UConn women’s soccer team will be hosting Yale at 3 p.m. (ET) on Friday, prior to the men’s team facing Iona. One hour prior to the scheduled kickoff of 7 p.m., Jim Calhoun Way will be closed to thru traffic from Alumni Drive to the Freitas Ice Forum. Fans are encouraged to use Separatist Road to access Jim Calhoun Way and find parking in I Lot next to the hockey rink.