Men’s soccer team secures C-USA tournament bid, beat UCF 4-3

By on October 31, 2012

The UAB men’s soccer team rose to the occasion Saturday night in Orlando, Fl. as they took on the UCF, walking away with a 4-3 victory and a tournament birth.

Saturday night’s game was both fast paced and hard fought. Both UAB (9-5-2, 4-3-0) and UCF (6-6-3, 3-3-0) knew what was at stake and both teams showed up ready to play.

The Blazer offense will need to continue to show up in order to win the C-USA tournament. Chase Cole/Staff Writer

UCF’s Deshorn Brown, who leads the league in scoring, struck the first blow in the 13th minute of the match when he received a deep pass from A.J. Nelson and planted the ball directly into the
back of the net.

The Blazers wasted no time responding as Reed Matte sent a cross into the box which was then headed in by Ian Svantesson to tie the game.

One lesson that head coach Mike Getman has drilled home to the guys this season is that after you make a goal you don’t want to let up. You want to take the next five minutes of play and totally control your opponent while they are still dazed and attempt to score again.

The UAB men’s soccer team did just that Saturday night, never letting up, and in the 18th minute of play, Reed Matte again sent a corner kick sailing over the box which found the top of Darion Copeland’s head and shortly thereafter landed in the back of the net.

UCF, a bit shaken at this point, continued to take shots at the Blazer defense and in the 27th minute of the first half Steven Lamberta delivered a pass into the box to Omar Vallejo who beat Raphael Ville to the corner and scored UCF’s 2nd goal of the night, tying the game 2-2.

“What a game this was,” UAB head coach Mike Getman said. “Two great attacking teams and both motivated to get the win. It was their {UCF} Senior Night and we knew that they would work hard all night long. Our kids played the full 90 minutes as they have all season long. Even going down a goal didn’t shake our team. I am very proud of the way our kids played.”

As the second half opened the Blazers offense exploded. Red shirt freshman Karl Chester showed he has what it takes to play with the best of best and the ability to score at will. With the score tied at the beginning of the second half, Chester received a short pass from junior Alex Clay and in a 1 on 1 foot race to the box, Chester beat UCF’s keeper to the corner, capitalizing on the shot and sending the Blazers up 3-2.

UCF’s Deshorn Brown quickly responded, adding yet another score to his annual total in the 67th minute of play, giving him 13 goals on the season, as well as 2 goals on the night as UCF tied the game 3-3.

Moments later it was Chester again who came to the rescue as senior Kofi Gyawu sent a ball flying into the box which Chester lightly touched and the Blazers took a 4-3 lead to win the game.
“Our seniors have never lost to UCF. They really wanted to keep that streak. To go on the road and score four goals against a very good team is hard to do,” Getman said

UAB will hit the road this week to take on Memphis for the final game of the season. The match is set for Wednesday November 1 at 7pm.

“It will be a tough turn around with travel and just one day of training as we get ready to end the regular season at Memphis,” Getman said. “They have always given us great games, and with them leaving the conference this one will have some extra meaning. I know that our guys will respond.”

The Blazers will now play in the C-USA tournament which takes place in Hoover at Regions Park November 7- 11. If they perform well enough they will make the NCAA which will also take place at Regions Park.

Chase Cole
Staff Writer
chascoleman@uab.edu

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