UAB-VCU Battle Through Weather Delays

Junior Chase Wickham scored the game-winning goal to help No. 21 UAB defeat VCU.

Aug. 18, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The No. 21 UAB men's soccer team defeated VCU, 2-1, in its final exhibition contest of the 2012 season Saturday night. The two teams fought through more than two hours of weather delays in order to finish the match.

The UAB goals came from freshman Freddy Ruiz and junior Chase Wickham, as the Blazers finished unbeaten in preseason play (2-0-1).

VCU took the lead off a blast to the far post that left goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky with no chance.

UAB tied the score on a goal by Ruiz that was set up by some nice passing. The build up began in the defense, went through the midfield and finally to Karl Chester. Chester then made the final pass that left Ruiz all alone at the back post for the tap in.

With less than 10 minutes to go, Wickham scored from an assist by Ian Svantesson to make the final 2-1. It was Svantesson's team-leading third assist of the exhibition campaign.

"I thought we played extremely well throughout the match," UAB head coach Mike Getman said. "VCU is a very talented team that makes you work very hard on the defensive side of the ball. They keep possession as well as any team in the country. We managed to absorb their pressure and find our moments to counter. I am proud of our teams performance against what I think will be a top-20 team."

After three exhibition matches, Getman says his team as grown and is ready to start the regular season.

"The most important thing is we have learned some valuable lessons from all three of our preseason games," Getman said. "Louisville & VCU are top-20 programs that challenged our team in many ways. Montevallo presented some different challenges and our kids responded in each game. I feel very good about where we are right now."



The Blazers will open the 2012 campaign on Friday, Aug. 24, against Mercer at 7 p.m. at West Campus Field.

There was also a 30-minute delay prior to kick off.