Men’s Soccers squeaks by Marshall, 2-1 on Senior Day

By on October 23, 2012

After suffering tough losses to Kentucky and Tulsa this past week, the UAB men’s soccer team needed a big win and was able to pull together Saturday afternoon at West Campus field as they etched past Marshall 2-1 in front of 534 fans.

Karl Chester scores a goal with forty seconds left to left the Blazers over the Thundering Herd. Chase Cole/Staff Writer

The Blazers (8-5-2) played their last home game of the year Saturday as they said farewell to several players who have been instrumental to the success of the UAB men’s soccer team over the past few seasons.

The first half of the match didn’t start well for the Blazers who typically make it a point to win the first 10 minutes of each game. Marshall’s (10-3-1) Jahvon Allison shattered the goal with a strike from 25 yards out that went over UAB goal keeper Raphael Ville’s head and slammed into the back of the net in the first six minutes, giving Marshall a 1-nil lead.

For the remainder of the first half, the Blazers played great soccer. They made really good passes and defended really well, but couldn’t create any scoring opportunities.

“We were playing well in the first half, junior Chase Wickham said. “We just had one bad turnover and they punished us for it. These next two games we have to come out stronger and be disciplined and play smarter in the first half.”

As the second half opened, UAB wasted no time taking charge of the field. While their game play wasn’t as pretty as it was in the first half of the match, the Blazers buckled down and did their best to make every play count.

Realizing they only had 45 minutes left to play, the sense of urgency and the sense that we’ve got to get this done now was evident as the Green and Gold worked extremely hard and gave everything they had.

In the 57th minute, UAB caught a break when senior Mladen Lemez capitalized on a penalty kick which evened the score 1-1 for the Blazers and shifted the momentum away from the Thundering Herd.
UAB and Marshall battled for possession back and forth for the next 32 minutes and just as it seemed as if the game was heading into over time, the Blazers found a way to get the ball into the back of the net. With 40 seconds remaining on the clock, Chase Wickham played a ball to red shirt freshman Karl Chester who got past Marshall’s keeper and finished with his 3rd goal of the season sending the Blazers up 2-1 and securing the win for the Green and Gold.

“Karl’s been a little bit ‘snake bit’ because he’s played really well and he’s worked really hard but he hasn’t had a lot of goals the last few games, said head coach Mike Getman. But what Karl does best is score goals so today he had to wait 89 minutes to get the right chance but I thought he scored a good goal for him and a very important goal for the team.”

“Coach always talks about near and far post runs and we practice them every week,” Chester said. “So when I saw Chase running down the side lines, I ran the near post run as Kofi {Gyawu} was heading for the far post and Chase just played a great ball in the middle and I was able to get there and finish it.”

There are only two regular season games left for the Blazers; one at UCF October 27 at 6 p.m. CST and one at Memphis Halloween night at 7 p.m. These will be two very difficult games, so the UAB men’s soccer team will get a couple of days of rest, and hopefully get some people healed as they prepare to finish out the season with an NCAA tournament birth.

Chase Cole
Staff Writer

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