UAB’s first game of Soccer for a Cure ends in toss up
Posted on Sep 18, 2012 in Sports
If you are a UAB student and you weren’t one of the 620 in attendance Friday night at the Soccer for a Cure Classic at West Campus Field, you missed a real treat. The Gang Green society sponsored a raffle in which each student who played their part could enter into a drawing to win a brand new Apple IPad.
UAB came home after 4 road games, “Really good to be home after 10 really hard days its really good to get to sleep in our own bed,” remarked senior defender Mladen Lemez said about returning to Birmingham.
UAB came back to be play host for the Soccer for a Cure tournament played on West Campus Field. Mike Getman is excited for the event, saying, “This is a great event not only for team playing great soccer but a chance to raise some money for the families that are fighting cancer right here in Birmingham – not about research dollars – we let bigger foundations take care of that … we are trying to help the individual families that are struggling with the cost of cancer and hopefully we can help a little bit.”
The Blazers played host to a Fairleigh Dickenson squad who has only lost once in four contests this year.
In addition to the free food and prizes often available at home games, the Men’s soccer game on Friday night, in particular, was definitely the most exciting and hard fought game of the Blazer’s season so far.
UAB Men’s Soccer team faced Fairleigh Dickenson in a very physical game that ended in a tie after two consecutive ten minute golden goal overtime periods.
The Green and Gold’s aim is to play the first and last ten minutes hard in order to control the game, but Fairleigh Dickenson seemed to be ready for the Blazers; they started the game just as hard, scoring their first goal within eight minutes and 32 seconds of play.
Even though UAB didn’t open as well as they wanted to, the Green and Gold managed to keep their composure, matching their opponent shot for shot, but they were unable to find the back of the net in the first half.
Scoring had been a problem over the past couple of games. When asked about the lack of scoring from the forwards, Senior Reed Matte said, “We don’t always put emphasis on forward scoring. We want it to be more of a collective team effort.” However freshman forward Karl Chester was all the Blazers need on this night.
As the second half of the match opened, the Men’s Soccer team seemed to really find their game. UAB was very aggressive with their shots, outshooting Fairleigh Dickenson 12-2; totally dominating the second half.
71 minutes and 15 seconds into the game, the match became more physical when Blazer’s number 14, Norris Howze, received a red card and was ejected; forcing the Green and Gold to finish the game a man down.
“What the Blazers lacked in number of players on the field, they made up for in heart and spirit tonight” Booster Gold club member Mark Lewis said.
Nearly seven minutes after Howze was ejected, the Blazers scored their first goal of the night when Chester assisted Kofi Gyawu on his fourth goal of the season. The goal was off of a save and one-timed into the back of the net, which brought the score to 1-2 with 12 minutes left to play.
With time running out, the visibly tired never let up. At the 86 minute and 16 second mark, Reed Matte sent a cross to Gyawu that was deflected and landed at the feet of Red Shirt Freshman Karl Chester, who was scrambling in front of the goal, and with his left foot neatly deposited the ball into the back of the net not only scoring the first goal of his collegiate career but also tying the game for the Blazers and leading to two golden goal periods where UAB (3-2-2) and Fairleigh Dickenson (3-1-1) ended their match in a draw.
Head Coach Mike Getman said the first half wasn’t exactly what they wanted it to be. “FDU made it hard on us. They’re very good and very athletic… In the second half, our guys really put things together and outshot them 12-2 so you can’t really create more chances than that. We scored two goals and I thought really controlled the game even though we were playing a man short.”
UAB will take on Lipscomb on Saturday in the final match before Conference USA action gets underway.