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- Leeth named UAB School of Medicine assistant dean for strategic planning
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- Alys Stephen Center Screens Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
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- Southern Miss tops Blazers, 62-27, in season ending game
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- Enjoy Christmas at the Alys Dec. 2, “The Season’s First Jingle”
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Dramatic finish pushes Blazers over defending champs Indiana
UAB picked up one of the best wins in the history of the program as they knocked off the defending national champions, Indiana Hoosiers, in front of a record breaking crowd.
On a cool summer Friday in the midst of High School football mania, Blazer fans showed up in masses to break the West Campus field attendance record with 3,025 soccer enthusiast getting all the drama a soccer match could provide. “What an awesome crowd. I tell you in a game like this the crowd makes the difference. We are tired. Indiana is making us chase a little bit, they are up 1-nil.” Getman said about the fans in attendance, “when the crowd is going, it gives the guys a little boost, it keeps the energy flowing. I really think the crowd was the difference in the game tonight.”
“It was a great college soccer game. I thought both teams played really well. Indiana is such a good team. So well organized, and so well disciplined. They play great soccer,” said Head Coach Mike Getman on the win, “I think they made one major mistake tonight and that was they thought the game was over before the final whistle. One of the things we take a great deal of pride in, our team doesn’t give before the game is over.”
After a less than stellar first half that left both sides with a goose egg in the scoring column, Indiana came out of intermission with fire as they scored the first goal of the match five minutes into the second set.
With one minute left in the game, UAB was still down one goal to nil. “Our guys knew the game wasn’t over. We’ve been in big games before. We’ve been down before. So our guys just kept playing,” said Getman, “I really think we played our best soccer the last 15-20 minutes of the match. So I wasn’t surprised when we got the goal. It happened a little later than we would have liked it to… The crowd kept [the players] going and in the end they got what they deserved.”
UAB kept fans on their the edge of their seats (if they were lucky enough to get one) until the official blew the whistle on a foul inside the box setting up a penalty kick for junior forward, Diego Navarrete.
Navarrete later said “I was very nervous. Fifty seconds left to go in the match. If I would have missed that … well we wouldn’t have won the game. So, clearly I was nervous. So, I chose a side and just thank God I scored the goal and we won the game.”
The late goal set up a golden goal overtime period.
Both teams had good opportunities early in the period but it was again UAB coming up with some late game dramatics.
Cue Freshman Rami Dajani said, “Honestly, in all my years of soccer, that is for sure the best moment. I didn’t even know what to do. I just did everything I could to put the ball in the net.” The freshman received a ball a few yards from goal off a deflection from Alex Clay and put a header in the back of the net to give UAB its second win over a top 25 team this year.
About the win moving forward, Getman said, “The biggest thing is that it shows our team we can play with the very best. Indiana is a fantastic team. They are defending champions. They came into the season ranked #1. That wasn’t an accident; they’re that good. We showed ourselves and everybody else that we can play with anyone in the country.”
That will be put to the test as UAB will play the team that has knocked them out of the NCAA tournament the past two years, #15 ranked Charlotte 49ers, on Friday at 7 p.m. at West Campus Field. It will open up conference play and should pack out West Campus Field again, so come early to make sure you get a seat.