Is There Anything Stopping UConn Soccer From Taking Over The Nation?
At the moment, there are few, if any, teams in college soccer hotter than the Connecticut Huskies.
After a slow start to the season, during which the Huskies went 4-0-1 (W-L-D) and only outscored their opponents 6-2 while playing three overtime games, UConn has gone 5-0-0 over its last five games and has outscored its opponents 15-1. No. 8 Notre Dame is the only team to score on UConn during this stretch, claiming a goal in UConn’s 2-1 victory on Saturday.
The Huskies have turned a corner since their slow start and now it looks like there is no stopping them from getting back to the promised land, the College Cup, at last.
UConn hasn’t been to the Final Four of men’s soccer since winning its third national championship in 2000. Since then, the closest UConn has come was the quarterfinals, where it was most recently upset in 2011 by Charlotte and before that in 2007 by Virginia Tech.
The pursuit of glory has seemed just beyond the Huskies’ grasp for the past few years, but this year, both the Big East and the national championship could be theirs for the taking.
Only two tests remain to show just exactly how good the Huskies are. Both come this week, with road games against two Big East foes: No. 5 Georgetown and No. 10 Marquette.
The road has always been a tough place for UConn to play and it has not proved any easier this year despite having undoubtedly the most talented squad in the Big East, arguably the nation’s most difficult conference with four teams ranked in the Top 10 in the Sept. 25 NSCAA coaches’ poll (six ranked teams overall). The Huskies are 3-0 away from Morrone Stadium with a 1-0 win at Michigan State, a 6-0 win at Harvard and a 2-0 win at Yale.
White it may look like they have had little trouble on the road, the Huskies had to hold on for dear life against Michigan State and they struggled with the turf field at Yale.
Now UConn heads to Washington D.C. and Wisconsin for the first times since the 2010 season, when the Huskies tied Marquette and lost to Georgetown.
Back then, neither the Hoyas nor the Golden Eagles were a top 10 team, but now they are the only two that stand between the Huskies and total domination.
Head Coach Ray Reid will not let a ranking get in the heads of his players. The Huskies will go out and continue doing the things that have made them so good recently. If they can escape this brutal week still undefeated, it is difficult to see them being stopped by anybody from now until the end of the season.
That is not an excuse for the Huskies to get complacent. Seton Hall comes to UConn on Oct. 17, looking to trip the Huskies up for a second straight year.
The trap games are there, but there is no doubt that if UConn survives this week, it looks like the only team that can beat them in the road to the Big East and national titles is themselves.
[Photo via UConn Men's Soccer's Facebook page]