By Spencer Tracy, Staff Writer
Xavier Men’s Soccer hosted UConn at Corcoran Field Saturday night in hopes of continuing their strong undefeated season. The Muskies came into play ranked 18th in the country while only facing the Huskies for the second time in school history, winning the other matchup 2-1 last season.
It was an even battle with both offenses making quiet pushes up the field but no action drama in the penalty box. Xavier freshman midfielder George Waites got the ball rolling when he sent one over the crossbar in the 22’ minute. UConn’s Josh Morgan earned himself a yellow card halfway through the first half being UConn fans’ only reason to leave their seats with zeros across the scoreboard headed into halftime.
Each team had two corner kick opportunities to get themselves on the board, however all four attempts were unsuccessful. Both goalkeepers were quiet thanks to strong defenses with zero shots on goal, giving both sides an early feeling that the next goal would be the decider.
UConn came out of halftime with a sliver of momentum as they held their ground in the first half on the road against a hot Xavier team. UConn turned up the intensity, committing two more yellow card penalties only three minutes apart to begin the second half.
Sending one over the crossbar in the first half, midfielder George Waites looked to make up for his missed opportunity by assisting midfielder graduate student Cameron Wheeler for his second goal of the season. After taking the lead in the 60’minute, Xavier Head Coach John Higgins made three substitutions, bringing in fresh legs and defensive reinforcements. UConn finally delivered their first shot on goal in the 65’ minute which was saved by Musketeer goalkeeper Cole Jensen, a redshirt junior.
Xavier’s offense went quiet after Wheeler found the back of the net, only producing one shot while UConn focused on their attack. UConn outshot Xavier in the second half 6-2, however it wasn’t enough to take down the 18th ranked Muskies, holding onto a late 1-0 lead to advance to 7-0-3 on the season.
Xavier remains undefeated against UConn and will take on St. John’s Wednesday in Queens.