The top-seeded UConn men's soccer team (RV) is set to host eighth seed Temple (2-13-2, 1-6-1 American) in an American Athletic Quarterfinal contest on Saturday at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The match, which can be seen live HERE, kicks off at 7 p.m.
The Huskies (9-6-2, 6-1-1 American), winners of five straight, earned the conference regular season title with a win over No. 25 USF on the road Saturday night. UConn won seven of its last nine matches of the regular season to set up a match-up with an Owl team that has lost six straight games. Connecticut is 5-3-1 at home this season, while Temple is winless (0-8-1) in its nine road matches in 2014.
Last Time Out
Sophomore forward Ethan Vanacore-Decker (Manahawkin, N.J.) tallied the game-winner in the 29th minute, as UConn moved past the Bulls, 1-0, at Corbett Stadium. The win sealed Connecticut's 13th-ever conference regular season title for a Husky program that has won the regular season two of the last three years.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Scott Levene (Stamford, Conn.) matched a career-high with four saves to record his sixth shutout on the year, while junior forward Nicholas Zuniga (Norwalk, Conn.) and sophomore midfielder Kwame Awuah (Toronto, Ontario) each earned an assist on Vanacore-Decker's goal.
Scouting The Owls
Temple enters Saturday's quarterfinal looking for its second win over a conference opponent this season. The Owls, whose last win came against Cincinnati (Sept. 27), lost to Memphis, 1-0, in their regular season finale on Saturday.
Three Temple players tallied at least seven points in the regular season, including redshirt senior forward Chas Wilson, who leads the Owls with four goals and nine points. Defensively, Temple ranks No. 7 in the conference in goals against average (1.78) despite a conference-best 4.69 saves per game by goalkeeper Dan Scheck. The Owls have given up 32 goals in 2014 and their 29 yellow cards this season are the most by any American Athletic school.
Postseason Home Cooking... The Huskies are 8-1-1 (.850) in postseason games played at Morrone Stadium over the past three seasons. Last year, they won both of their postseason games at home, and their only lost during that stretch came to Creighton (12/2/12) in the 2012 NCAA Quarterfinals.
Excuse Me, Flo?... Saturday's match marks a return to Morrone Stadium for former UConn standout and current Temple assistant coach Flo Liu. Liu played two seasons as a defender at Connecticut from 2011-12, helping the Huskies record a program-best 16 shutouts in his first year at Storrs. He finished his senior season with six points on two goals and two assists and was named to the Big East Honor Roll (10/1/12).
Conference Honors... Three Huskies earned weekly American Athletic Conference awards on Monday. Levene was tabbed as the Goalkeeper of the Week, while freshman midfielder Cheikh Stephane Coly (Dakar, Senegal) was named the Rookie of the Week and Vanacore-Decker earned Offensive Player of the Week honors. Levene posted two shutouts last week and leads the conference with a 0.64 goals against average. Coly has started all 17 of Connecticut's matches this season, and Vanacore-Decker currently ranks second on the team in goals (5) and points (12).