Huskies Kick Off Season's Last Stretch Against Providence in Men's Soccer


Huskies Kick Off Season’s Last Stretch Against Providence in Men’s Soccer

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The UConn men’s soccer team is set to sustain its momentum as the regular season approaches its conclusion, starting with an away match against the Providence Friars on Wednesday evening.

The Huskies are coming off a thrilling victory against a strong Marquette squad last Saturday. Trailing 2-0, UConn’s Kieran Chandler scored just before halftime, cutting the deficit in half. The second half saw an intense exchange, and motivated by the scuffle, Scott Testori netted the game-tying goal in the 71st minute. Testori then secured hero status with the game-winner 10 minutes later. This marked Testori’s first two-goal performance, earning him the title of Big East Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Chandler, too, was recognized as the Big East Freshman of the Week for his contribution against Marquette.

Providence enters the matchup on the back of an upset against No. 5 Georgetown, winning 1-0 with Gevork Diarbian’s header in the second half. According to the Providence Athletics webpage, the last time the Friars upset a top-five team was in 2021 when they defeated No.1 Georgetown 3-0. The Friars have shown resilience against elite competition, going 1-1-1 against top-five teams and maintaining an undefeated streak in their previous four matches. Goalkeeper Lukas Burns, earning his fourth consecutive shutout and fifth of the season, was named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Week. Burns played a crucial role in keeping the Georgetown Hoyas off the scoreboard for the first time in 2023, making a season-high six saves in the win. Additionally, Diarbian’s game-winner earned him a spot on the weekly conference honor roll.

The clash between UConn and Providence promises to be a high-stakes encounter given the teams’ recent performances and the potential impact on the Big East standings.

Connecticut will head to Rhode Island with a season record of 7-5-1, holding a 3-2 standing against Big East teams, securing nine points in conference play. This places them second in the Big East’s East Division, trailing Georgetown with 12 points. Providence, at 5-4-3 overall and 2-1-2 in the conference, has eight points, tying with St. John’s for third in the East Division, just one point behind UConn.

The upcoming Wednesday clash carries significant implications for Big East playoff seeding. A victory for UConn would establish a more comfortable lead over Providence, while a win for the Friars could propel them in the conference standings. In the case of a tie, neither team would alter their positions. With only three games remaining for the Huskies before the Big East tournament, each contest’s outcome holds immense importance.

Historically, UConn has dominated Providence, boasting a 24-7-2 record since 1987. The last encounter on October 5, 2022, ended in a narrow 3-2 victory for UConn. Even in Rhode Island, UConn has a strong record of 10-4-1 in the city of Providence. However, in recent times, the Friars have shown improvement with a more respectable 4-6 record in the last 10 contests against UConn.

A player to watch for UConn is sophomore Pierce Bateson, a key figure in the team’s offense alongside Testori. Bateson’s eight points this season, matching Adil Iggoute for second on the team, include two goals and four assists. Despite assisting in a goal against Marquette, Bateson hasn’t scored since September 15 against St. John’s, making him goalless in the previous seven contests. His performance could be pivotal in a challenging match against Providence.

For the Friars, Brendan McSorley stands out as the most decorated offensive player with six goals and 12 points in 12 contests. Leading in shot attempts and shot percentage, McSorley has an impressive track record, named to the Big East All-Tournament Team in 2021. However, he enters the match on a scoreless streak of three contests, seeking a rebound against the tough Connecticut defense.

The kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Chapey Field, Anderson Stadium in Providence, Rhode Island. Fans can catch the live action with a subscription to FloSport.


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