LIVE STATS | AMERICAN DIGITAL NETWORK | GAME NOTES
DALLAS, Texas - The UConn men's soccer team returns to familiar territory this weekend at Westcott Field on the SMU campus - but this time, as a participant in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, beginning with the semifinals on Friday.
The third-seeded Huskies (8-7-2, 4-3-0 American) will play second-seeded UCF in the first semifinal on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT, live on the American Digital Network, with Lincoln Rose (play-by-play) and Roland Garangzuey (color) on the broadcast.
Coming off a 1-0 loss at No. 13 SMU on Saturday, UConn lost an opportunity to win the AAC regular season title. As a result, the Mustangs earned the right to host the tournament - a four-team, three-game weekend.
Sunday's championship game will be aired live on ESPNU for the advancing teams, with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT.
CT ✈️ TX pic.twitter.com/oywxIQE83m
— UConn Men's Soccer (@UConnMSOC) November 8, 2017
Six Huskies earned All-Conference honors on Wednesday, led by junior captains Abdou Mbacke Thiam and Jacob Hauser-Ramsey - both named to the All-AAC First Team. For a complete list of winners, click HERE.
UConn gets a chance at revenge on Friday afternoon, after dropping a 3-2 decision to UCF at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium back on Oct. 21. Despite the loss, the Huskies outshot the Knights, 12-9, and held a 9-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Since joining the American in 2013, the Huskies have qualified for the AAC Tournament each season - recording a 5-4 mark in postseason conference games. UConn is 2-2 in the semifinal round.
SCOUTING THE KNIGHTS
UCF (7-5-2, 4-2-1 American) qualified for the AAC Tournament on the final day of the regular season, as a 2-1 overtime win at Cincinnati secured the Knights a place in Friday's semifinals. The Knights have not lost since Sept. 29 at SMU - a streak of seven-straight results (6-0-1). Matias Pyysalo is the team's leader in goals (12), assists (5) and points (29). UCF ranks second in the American in goals per game (1.71), third in assists (1.64), and second in goals allowed (0.93).
RECENT TOURNEY HISTORY
UConn is 5-4 all-time in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, dating back to 2013, and has qualified in each season since joining the league. In 2016, the Huskies lost to Tulsa - the eventual AAC champions - by a 2-0 margin in the semifinals in Tampa, Fla. Head coach Ray Reid's squad has twice participated in the AAC championship game (2013, 2015), falling both times in penalty kicks.
Four freshmen - Austin DaSilva, Josh Burnett, Nicolas Apostol and Blaise N'Gague - all saw playing time in each of the 17 matches this season for the Huskies. Every one of the four players scored at least one goal, with DaSilva, Burnett and Apostol tallying a pair each. The freshmen played some big minutes - accounting for one-third of the team's goals and helping UConn pitch eight shutouts.
The Huskies enjoyed great crowds all season long at Morrone Stadium and the numbers prove it. UConn ranks first in the country in attendance - outranking all other Division I teams. In 12 home games, 42,029 fans visited Morrone, an average of 3,502 per match. UConn leads the nation in accumulated attendance and average attendance, following a second-place rank in 2016. UConn ranked first in attendance in 2007 and 2008.