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STORRS, Conn. – The UConn men’s soccer team enters Saturday with a chance of winning the American Athletic Conference regular season title when it travels to play No. 13 SMU at Westcott Field in Dallas, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. (ET).
Coming off a 2-0 win over Yale on Halloween night, the Huskies (8-6-2, 4-2-0 American) need a win against the Mustangs to host the AAC Tournament at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on Nov. 10 and 12. A victory would also lock-up UConn’s first regular season title since 2014, and 14th all-time in program history.
The final match of the regular season can be viewed for free on PonyUp TV and updates will be provided @UConnMSOC on Twitter. UConn is 3-1-0 on the road this season, including a 3-0-0 mark in conference road games.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Scott Levene helped the Huskies record their eighth shutout of the season against the Bulldogs on Tuesday, limiting their in-state foe to just a pair of shots on goal. Junior Abdou Mbacke Thiam and sophomore Niko Petridis provided the offense, with each posting a tally.
The Huskies played 12 games at Morrone this season, the most since in a regular season since 2007. UConn led the country in attendance for the first time since 2008, accumulating 42,029 fans and averaging 3,502 per game – both ranking first in Division I.
Both UConn and SMU have qualified for the AAC Tournament, but will now play for the right to host the tournament on its home field. The Huskies (12 points) need a win, while the Mustangs (13 points) need a win or tie.
No. 13 SMU (12-2-1, 4-1-1 American) enters Saturday’s match as the first-place team in the American with 13 points, one better than UConn’s 12. SMU is 9-0-0 at Westcott Field this season, led by top goal scorers Garrett McLaughlin and Mauro Cichero. SMU leads the league in goals per game (2.0), assists per game (2.20), goals allowed per game (0.60) and shutouts (9).
REGULAR SEASON TITLE HISTORY
UConn has won 13 conference regular season titles in program history, most recently winning the 2014 American title with a 6-1-1 record in conference play. As a member of the Big East, the Huskies won 12 regular season titles under head coaches Joe Morrone and Ray Reid. The last time UConn hosted the conference tournament in 2014, it was eliminated in the AAC semifinals by USF in penalty kicks.
Thiam scored his 10th goal of the season in Tuesday’s win - marking his third-consecutive season with double-digit tallies as a Husky. He scored a career-high 11 as a freshman, following his rookie campaign with back-to-back 10-goal efforts. Thiam also leads the team in assists (4) this season. He ranks fourth in the American in points (24), third in goals (10), and tied for first in game-winning goals (6).
The Huskies began the season with a 4-0-0 mark in conference play - all of which were shutouts. Since then, UConn has dropped two consecutive against UCF and Memphis at home. Since joining the American in 2013, UConn is 20-9-8 in conference regular season play. In the last four meetings with SMU, the Huskies are 2-1-1 against the Mustangs - including a 1-1 tie in double OT last season in Storrs.