Oct. 27, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. - UAB freshman Karl Chester scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, while senior Reed Matte added a pair of assists, to lift the men's soccer team to a wild 4-3 win at UCF on Saturday night.
With the victory, the Blazers (9-5-2, 4-3 C-USA) all but locked up a spot in the upcoming Conference USA Men's Soccer Championship, which will take place at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. on Nov. 7-11.
"What a game this was," UAB head coach Mike Getman said. "Two great attacking teams and both motivated to get the win. It was their Senior Night and we knew that they would work hard all night long. Our kids played the full 90 minutes as they have all season long. Even going down a goal didn't shake our team. I am very proud of the way our kids played.
"Our seniors have never lost to UCF. They really wanted to keep that streak. To go on the road and score four goals against a very good team is hard to do," Getman said.
Chester scored UAB's final two goals and now has two game-winners on the year. The game-winning tally came in the 73rd minute when senior Kofi Gyawu sent the ball into the box, which Chester volleyed into the net. The Blazers defense was able to hold on from there, despite being outshot, 16-4, in the final 45 minutes and 23-12 for the game.
UCF (6-6-3, 3-3) began the scoring when Deshorn Brown, who leads the league in goals, recorded the first of his two goals on the night in the 14th minute of play.
However, the Blazers would answer quickly by scoring two goals just over a minute apart.
The first came at the 16:49 mark when Matte's corner set up freshman Ian Svantesson for a clean header to draw even. Then, at the 18:22 mark, UAB took its first lead on a nearly identical play when Matte's corner found the head of sophomore defender Darion Copeland for a 2-1 Blazer lead.
The Knights would draw even at the 27:20 mark on a goal by Omar Vallejo. The two teams went into the locker rooms tied at 2-2.
Chester struck just over three minutes into the second half, at the 48:49 mark, when junior Alex Clay set him up for a 1-v-1 with the UCF keeper, giving the Blazers a 3-2 lead.
But Brown would score his 13th goal of the year, and second on the night, in the 67th minute, setting up Chester's heroics, which came at the 72:03 mark.
UAB will play its final regular season match on Wednesday, when it travels to take on the Memphis Tigers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
"It will be a tough turn around with travel and just one day of training as we get ready to end the regular season at Memphis," Getman said. "They have always given us great games and with them leaving the conference this one will have some extra meaning. I know that our guys will respond."