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The UConn Fast Break - 9/23/2022
New recruits, hockey previews and more!
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Youssouf Singare commits to UConn, Fab Five talk begins
Dan Hurley and his staff are on an absolute tear on the recruiting trail.
UConn men’s basketball now has five pledges to the Class of 2023, as the final portion of the Fab Five reboot, Youssouf Singare, committed to UConn on Wednesday.
While the 7-foot Signare may be the least-heralded of the bunch, with two top-50 prospects in Stephon Castle and Solomon Ball, in addition to Jaylin Stewart and Jayden Ross, each of whom is around the top 100 in both Rivals’ and 247’s rankings, he is certainly a solid recruit. Signare is still very lean, but with that height comes rim protection skills, and there has not been an elite UConn team without an elite shot-blocker in recent years.
Signare, who plays his high school ball in The Bronx and transferred from a school on Long Island, also shows that Hurley will still recruit the Northeast hard. Aside from Javonte Brown-Ferguson, who is from Ontario, Hurley’s previous classes were concentrated in the DMV, New York, and Boston areas. With the Class of 2023, he started to recruit more nationally, reaching for Georgia native Castle, who committed in November 2021, as well as the Seattle native Stewart, to balance out Ball, who plays at Brewster Academy, and Ross, who is from Long Island. As UConn is getting better, players like Castle and Stewart are within reach, but the Northeast, and players like Signare, are still his bread and butter.
Brayden Zermeno added to roster - The quarterback was formerly
Bring football back to campus - It is a big ask and requires cooperation from a lot of uncooperative governments, but with the condition of Rentschler Field, it’s worth a shot.
Future opponents - Take a look at how UConn’s future opponents, including the Wolfpack, fared during Week 3.
The UConn Football Pod - The podcast crew discusses the Michigan loss, the extremely injured offense, and looks ahead to NC State.
Tyler Phommachanh update - The quarterback, who suffered a torn ACL last season, has been upgraded to “available”.
Injuries piling up - Several important players, including quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson and Nate Carter, are missing time.
Youssouf Singare commits - The 7-footer is the fifth recruit to verbally commit to the Class of 2023.
Jaylin Stewart commits - The four-star wing was the first of two commits in five days.
UConn WBB Weekly - High-flying ncoming freshman Ayanna Patterson is the focus of this week’s newsletter, as she has the ability to dunk and could do so in a game.
3 former Huskies to play in FIBA World Cup - Gabby Williams is representing France, Kia Nurse will suit up for Canada and Breanna Stewart is on Team USA.
With a field player in goal, Huskies top Yale - Midfielder Sophie McCarthy had to step in to play goalkeeper in the second half with each netminder injured.
Arena named after Dan Toscano - The Toscano Family Arena is in recognition of the Toscano family’s leadership gift toward the facility.
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After lightning delayed UConn men’s soccer’s Big East opener against Creighton by a day, the Huskies took a point on the road against the Bluejays. Trailing 1-0 before the respite, UConn tied it up in the 21st minute as Frantz Pierrot caught the deflection as he was crashing goal and buried the loose ball.
The date was Sept. 19, 2008. UConn football hosted Baylor for the first-ever matchup between the two schools. The Huskies took a 31-28 win on the back of a go-ahead Donald Brown rushing touchdown, his second of the game, with 6:11 remaining. The back ran 34 times for 150 yards, while Tyler Lorenzen also found the end zone twice on the ground, gaining 73 yards on just eight rushes, despite his two interceptions.
However, the game is most famous for what happened afterward. A true freshman quarterback by the name of Robert Griffin III was under center that day. He finished 14-of-25 passing for 208 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing 23 times for 46 yards and one more score. In a wide-ranging interview with Jon Robinson in 2012, he was asked what the toughest places to play were while he was in college.
Griffin played at Texas, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M, among others, during his time at Baylor, but he is of the opinion that smaller places with fans close to the field are more difficult.
“The thing that people think is when you go to these big stadiums and they have 80,000 people or 100,000 people, that these are the toughest stadiums to play at, but really, those aren't. When you have that many people, most of the time, the fans are pretty far away from the field. The toughest places to play are the ones that are jam-packed, are really tight to the field, and sit about 45,000 people. When we played at UConn my freshman year, that was the loudest place I've ever been as a football player. The stands are right next to the field, it was packed, and everyone was yelling. That was probably the coolest place for me to play at aside from Texas, Texas A&M, and Nebraska.”
Being in the conversation with Kyle Field and Darrell K Royal Stadium is some praise. I spent an evening in the student section in College Station and that place was plenty loud with an incredible atmosphere. It was a huge boost for UConn’s reputation to have something like that said.
UConn, Great Pic
Women’s soccer played under the Friday night lights against Yale last week. Ian Bethune was on the scene at Morrone Stadium to capture the Huskies’ gutsy win.
A team functions best when players set egos aside and step up in the roles for which they’re needed. Goalkeeper Adyson Duran was already out for women’s soccer’s Friday night matchup against Yale with a hamstring injury. During warmups, Kaitlyn Mahoney broke her wrist, leaving the Huskies with just MaryKate Ward healthy in goal.
In the 12th minute, Ward went down with an injury to her knee and, knowing that she was the only goalkeeper left, stayed in the game until halftime. At the half, it was clear she was going to be unable to continue. Enter sophomore midfielder Sophie McCarthy, from Walpole, Massachusetts. She hadn’t played the position since seventh grade, in her best estimation, but as the emergency keeper, it was her time to shine.
She made one save in the second half, surrendering just one goal on a difficult chance that found the side netting. The defense stepped up and surrendered just five shot attempts in the second half, one fewer than was allowed in the first, while UConn attempted 11 shots after taking nine in the first half.
A team working together to protect its inexperienced goalkeeper and the field player stepping up to play between the sticks is the ultimate show of teamwork and the win was the icing on the cake for a special night at Morrone Stadium for the Huskies. This is why so many of us love sports.
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