Kofi Gyawu scores, Blazers tie in nationals rematch
Posted on Sep 04, 2012 in Sports
The No. 16 UAB Men’s Soccer team traveled to play No. 3 Charlotte Friday night. UAB faced their former Conference USA rival in a game reminiscent of last year’s second round NCAA Tournament match. Charlotte overcame UAB in that match-up 3-1, and advanced to the NCAA College Cup Tournament where they eventually lost to North Carolina.
Friday night marks the 26th meeting for the two teams since Conference USA began in 1995 with Charlotte holding a record of 14-9-2 over the Blazers. However, out of the last 11 meetings UAB has a record of 7-2-2.
This was the first time the Blazers have traveled to Charlotte since 2008 when the 49ers overcame the Green and Gold 1-0 giving UAB a record of 3-6-1 in games played at Transamerica Field.
UAB’s senior forward Kofi Gyawu shinned Friday night scoring the first goal 39 minutes into the match on a counter attack to give the Blazers a 1-0 lead. Gyawu not only leads his team in points, but he also has scored in each of UAB’s regular season games this year. Gyawu was recently chosen as the men’s soccer Conference USA Offensive Player of the week. This is the second time Gyawu has received the honor with the first being during his freshman season in 2009.
“It feels so good to know I have been recognized by the conference office as the offensive player of the week,” Gywau said. “But without my teammates, I know it wouldn’t have been possible so I want to thank them as well. I think I played well and as a team we got two wins and that’s the most important thing.”
Gyawu certainly wasn’t alone Friday night. Junior goalkeeper Raphael Ville seemed to be everywhere Charlotte was as he made 10 saves to keep the Blazers in the game. Ville has only appeared in 3 games at the collegiate level, and already has 19 saves in the season.
The 49ers came out strong to begin the second half of Friday night’s contest, scoring within 22 minutes with an electrifying goal. The goal was set up when Charlotte maneuvered the ball in front of Donnie Jones who launched the ball into the net to even the score.
As the two teams entered overtime, UAB seemed to have a win in hand when Sophomore Ian Michalak spotted a loose ball a few yards away from the net. Michalak took the shot, but unfortunately it was deflected at the last moment by Charlotte. This ultimately ended the game in a draw.
UAB continues on the road this week traveling first to East Tennessee State on Sunday followed by trip to Albequerque, N.M. on Friday.