- How a cybersecurity expert protects his smartphone
- ASC presents Take 6, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Dec. 15
- Leeth named UAB School of Medicine assistant dean for strategic planning
- Coping with holiday grief
- New water plan saves big money
- Campus police offer holiday safety tips
- Alys Stephen Center Screens Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
- Hospital feeds underprivileged new moms
- UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Yo-Yo Ma Dec. 6
- Southern Miss tops Blazers, 62-27, in season ending game
- Henry Panion selected for 2014 Alabama African-American History Calendar
- Enjoy Christmas at the Alys Dec. 2, “The Season’s First Jingle”
- Engineering’s Ning wins ASTM International award
- Collat School of Business unveils sign at celebration
- Heudebert elected master by American College of Physicians
Men’s soccer – No. 14 UAB defeats Belmont in 3rd shutout of season (Photos)
The No. 14 UAB men’s soccer team beat Belmont 2-0 Wednesday night, marking its third shutout of the season.
“It feels good,” said Head Coach Mike Getman about the final score. “Our guys played well, scored two really terrific goals, and defended very well against a very good team.”
The Blazers (5-1-1) went into the match against Belmont (3-3-1) with confidence. After defeating Mercer 4-0 last Sunday, UAB was named a top 25-team in both national polls for the fourth consecutive week.
With a solid start to the season behind them, the Blazers seemed sure of their ability on the field, and this confidence translated into a strong, communicative defense and an aggressive offense.
“We’ve played a very tough schedule this first half of the season, and one of two things can happen,” Getman said. “You can make mistakes and learn from it, or you can play well, develop confidence, develop team chemistry. I think we’ve done a little bit of both.”
“We learned from Indiana, VCU, and even tonight, we learned against a very good team. But we also learned that we can win against anybody; we can play well against anybody,” he said.
The Blazers came out strong Wednesday night, scoring the first goal of the game at the 17:04 minute-mark. It was the fifth goal of the season for sophomore forward Freddy Ruiz, who leads the team in goals. Team captain Alex Clay recorded the assist.
Ruiz recounted his goal:
“This defender plays a ball back, but he accidently plays it to me. And then I see a defender coming, so I poke it around him to one of my teammates, Alex Clay. Then he’s gone one-v-one, and then I yell out his name and he just looks back and sees me and plays it back. And I take a touch and I just place it to the keeper’s lower right, and it just goes in, luckily.”
Belmont fought hard to even out the score, and with 12 minutes left in the first half, they came close to doing that.
As Belmont’s offense closed in on UAB’s goal, senior goalkeeper Raphael Ville ran out to stop the ball. But a Belmont player got there first and sent the ball past Ville. Sophomore defender Ian Svantesson rushed in and kicked it out of the goal. It was the closest Belmont would come to scoring that night.
In the second half, Belmont had a few more opportunities to score, but they couldn’t get the ball past the Blazer defense.
“We were really communicating, hustling,” Ruiz said. “Of course, we came out pressing the first 30 minutes, and then we just kept the intensity up and didn’t let down.”
In the 54th minute, UAB’s senior midfielder Norris Howze and a Belmont player collided as they chased after the ball. Both players went down, and Howze was given a yellow card.
With 19 minutes left in regulation, Clay, who assisted Ruiz earlier that night, scored the second goal of the game and his first goal of the season.
“(Alex Clay)’s played well every match all season long,” Getman said. “He doesn’t always get all the credit. He doesn’t have all the goals, but he’s always a big part of our attack and a big part of the way our team played.”
“Tonight, he finally got the rewards for all his hard work,” he said.
Ruiz echoed this sentiment, saying that goals are a result of teamwork: “It’s an honor, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, you know. Without their help, I wouldn’t be leading the team (in goals).”
UAB currently has one of the highest scoring offenses in the country (tied for eighth in Division I soccer) and has scored four or more goals in three games this season. The crowd was clearly hoping for another high-scoring game.
In the last 15 minutes, a shot from UAB went behind the net and the crowd erupted in cheers that fizzled out as one by one the Green Army realized there hadn’t been a goal.
The Blazers did have more opportunities to score. They lead Belmont 20-5 in shots, but they couldn’t find the net again.
Getman said the team needs to work on “lots of little details.”
“There aren’t big glaring mistakes,” he said. “I thought we defended very well . . . but we also made some bad passes, gave the ball away when we didn’t have to, missed some good chances to score that we could have finished. And so there’s always little things to work on, but I do think we got most of the big things right.”
The Blazers now go on the road for their conference-opener against Kentucky on Sunday, September 29 at 12:00 p.m. They will return to West Campus Field Sunday, October 6 at 2:30 p.m. to play Florida Atlantic.
Photos by Sarah Adkins and Gerrie Lim