Men’s soccer drops C-USA opener, loses to SMU 1-0
Posted on Oct 02, 2012 in Sports
UAB’s men’s soccer team suffered the toughest loss of their season in their first conference match Saturday night in front of 665 fans at West Campus field.
The UAB Blazers (5-3-2) fell hard Saturday night as they battled back and forth with the Mustangs (6-2-2) for the entire 90 minutes of play.
“When you look at the stat sheet it pretty much tells the story of the game,” said Blazer head coach Mike Getman. “I thought our guys played extremely well all the way through. At times, it felt like we were playing against 12 and not just 11, But I think we did enough to win the match, but in soccer you still have to put the ball in the net.”
In the first-half UAB out shot SMU 10-5 and allowed only one shot on goal which was saved by goal keeper Raphael Ville. Defensively, SMU was no match for UAB who dominated the field and controlled the pace of play throughout the game.
As the second half opened, it seemed as if the Blazers had a firm handle on the game when suddenly a simple foul led to an SMU penalty kick by Andrew Morales in the 59:29 minute of the game giving the Mustangs a 0-1 lead. Shortly after the penalty kick players on both sides of the ball seemed overly agitated, which caused more aggressive play and several yellow cards.
That didn’t stop the Blazers, whose offence seemed to explode. Kofi Gyawu had five shots that night alone, with Chase Wickham following behind him with two shots, while Karl Chester, Mladen Lemez, Norris Howze, Diego Navarrete and Ian Svantesson each had one a piece for a total of 12 shots on goal.
With just over a minute left on the clock UAB had a couple of chances to tie the game, but they were thwarted by 2 SMU defenders who headed the ball out of the box just as time ran out for the Blazers.
While SMU’s goal keeper dove for 10 saves Saturday night, the penalty kick the Mustangs scored early in the second half was enough to secure three tournament points, and a conference win for SMU.
“Soccer can be a really cruel game,” coach Getman said. “You can have 12 shots on goal, only one shot on your goal; you can win in every statistical category; you can win in possession; you can win in chances, but sometimes the ball just doesn’t want to go in the goal. Overall, I thought we did a pretty good job. I think the guys carried out the game plan that we had tonight, so there’s nothing to change; we just have to keep plugging away. Over the course of a season if you play well every-day, things will go your way.”
Conference play continues for the Blazers during Homecoming week as they travel to Miami for their next conference matchup against Florida International Oct. 6 @ 6 p.m.