The UConn soccer team continued to ride Allando Matheson’s hot feet, as the Huskies ran over an overmatched Columbia team by a score of 4-0 behind two goals from the junior forward.
A twenty minute outburst from the hosts yielded three of the four goals, as Cyle Larin, Matheson, and Colin Bradley each found the back of the net in the first half.
The scoring was opened by the freshman Larin, who calmly collected a Kwame Awuah cross with his chest before volleying past the keeper. Larin’s 15th minute opener was his fifth of the season and second game-winning goal.
UConn was able to double its lead thirteen minutes later via Matheson, who was able to bang home his fourth goal in as many games. The junior Matheson was able to gather a Nick Zuniga mishit before tucking it home past the diving keeper.
The redshirt senior Bradley removed any doubt of the game’s ultimate result, as the second goal of the midfielder’s career came from the penalty spot. Freshman fullback Jakob Nerwinski fired from forty yards, striking a Columbia defender in the hand and chest. The referee ruled handball while the Columbia player remained injured, but Bradley showed no mercy in slotting the penalty in the right corner past Columbia keeper Kyle Jackson.
Unfortunately for the Lions, Matheson wasn’t finished, as the junior continued his hot streak with yet another goal. Matheson was able to head home an Adria Beso corner for yet another goal, as the super-sub is on one of the hottest streaks in recent memory.
However, after the game, UConn coach Ray Reid was quick to point out that Matheson will have to remain both focused and motivated if he wants to continue his hot streak.
“He’s got some goals,” said Reid, who has coached Matheson for three seasons and has had a very public love-hate relationship with the forward. “He’s got to keep playing well. He does not self-motivate himself. What motivated him was sitting for the first five games. That’s what motivates him. If he doesn’t play well against Louisville, he’ll be sitting when he comes back here. When he feels too comfortable, he cannot play well. He needs to be motivated by sitting. He is not a self-motivator, and you can put that in writing. And it’s not a knock on him. He’s playing great. He’s motivated by the bench, and the fear of it, and he’s been playing great for us.”
The matchup also saw the return of star goalkeeper Andre Blake, who had been sidelined for two games after being undercut against UCF. Blake had been spelled by backup Jacob Wagmeister, who had two clean sheets in the Jamaican international’s place.
Blake was excited to rejoin his teammates after spending the past two games seated in the press box.
“I’m feeling great,” said the junior captain. “It’s a great feeling. Sometimes when you’re always playing, you don’t know what it feels like until you really have to sit out and watch a game. You know that “hey, listen you gotta play every game like it’s your last,” because when yours sitting there watching and can’t play, it’s not a good feeling.”
“The only thing that feels different is that I’m happier than I was before.”
The Huskies will look to continue their offensive hot streak against #22 Louisville Saturday, as the Huskies make the trip to Kentucky with the hopes of winning their first road game of the season.