Sept. 29, 2007
Birmingham, Ala. ----- The UAB men's soccer team allowed a goal just 1:40 into the game, and could not penetrate the South Carolina defense, as the Blazers dropped a 1-0 decision Saturday night in the Conference USA opener for both teams. The Blazers outshot the Gamecocks by a count of 14-10, including a 6-3 shots on goal advantage, but could not finish.
"It is always tough to play a team like South Carolina," UAB head coach Mike Getman said. "Once they scored the early goal, they always had nine defenders behind the ball and it makes it tough to score. I thought we really controlled play throughout most of the match and had some great scoring chances. I am disappointed in this loss and disappointed in the goal we allowed."
The Gamecocks' (6-3, 1-0) goal came off a turn around shot by Jeff Scanella on USC's first shot of the game. Scanella received a pass from Blake Brettschneider and turned on his defender. Scanella then buried a shot from 16-yards out into the lower left corner of the net for the game-winner.
The Blazers (5-4, 0-1) had several great scoring chances throughout the match, but could not finish. Junior Frank Brown created what may have been UAB's best opportunity of the night, when he beat his defender and sent a scorcher towards the goal. South Carolina goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer made the save, but it caromed right to the foot of junior Dejan Jakovic who then shot the ball into an empty net. However, the ball was blocked and a USC defender and cleared away. Maurer would finish with six saves on the evening.
Brown led all players on the night with five shots, three of which came on frame. UAB also had an advantage in corner kicks with eight, compared to only two from South Carolina.
Despite the loss, UAB remains on a hot streak as of late, capturing wins in five of its last seven games, and outscoring the competition, 13-3, over that stretch. The Blazers have a young team, but Getman can see his team maturing and getting better, even with Saturday night's defeat.
"I can see a lot of good things going on with this team," Getman said. "We are getting better, we are getting more mature and we are getting more confident with one another. We just need to put it all together and get a win now."
The Blazers will hope to change their misfortunes when they step out of conference play for an important home match against Eastern Illinois, who is ranked just ahead of No. 7 UAB in the regional rankings. The Blazers and Panthers will square off on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. at West Campus Field. All students who come to the game and present a valid student ID will receive free food and a free UAB soccer t-shirt.