Men's Soccer Comeback Falls Short At Charlotte

Diego Navarrete scored his second goal of the season on Thursday night.

Nov. 15, 2012

Box Score

UAB vs. Charlotte Final BoxGet Acrobat Reader

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--The UAB men's soccer team fell to Charlotte, 3-2, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night at Transamerica Field.

"Obviously I'm disappointed with the result," said head coach Mike Getman. "When you give up two goals to a team of their quality, early in the match, it's obviously going to be a struggle. Our guys fought back in the second half, got an early goal back, put a lot of pressure on them, but it's a difficult battle to come back from two early goals."

Both of Charlotte's (15-3-3) first half goals came from senior forward Jennings Rex, the first in the 7th minute and the second in the 29th, both off corner kicks.

Senior defender Mladen Lemez gave UAB its first goal of the game in the 50th minute when Charlotte was called for a handball in the box and the Belgrade, Serbia native sent a penalty kick into the back of the net. With his seventh goal of the season, Lemez is now 4-4 on PKs.

"At halftime, we talked about we talked about the fact that we were down, but we were going to have to score somewhere to have a chance to get back in this game," Getman said. "I thought our guys did a great job to create the opportunity to get that goal back, and the momentum changed completely. We were still losing, but we started to control how the game was played, we started to move the ball a whole lot better, and I certainly thought it was a very good game."

The 49ers extended their lead to 3-1 in the 52nd minute when sophomore forward Giuseppe Gentile scored a goal from 10 yards out on the right side.

Sophomore forward Diego Navarrete cut the lead to one in the 85th minute when he took a feed from junior midfielder Chase Wickham and sent the ball straight on into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Both of the Santiago, Chile native's goals in 2012 have come in the postseason with his first in the 2012 Conference USA Men's Soccer Championship quarterfinal against UCF.

The Blazers took a 7-4 shot advantage in the second half, but were unable to equalize before the match ended. Both sides were even on total shot attempts with 10 apiece.

This marks the last match for the Blazers' senior class, Lemez, fellow defenders Reed Matte and Milan Milinkovic, and forward Kofi Gyawu.

"These four seniors have given so much," Getman said. "Even though we came out on the wrong end today, I was really proud of them and the way they battled. They've been great leaders for us, not just this year, but for all four years. They're great kids, great students, and I think they're exactly what we want UAB student-athletes to be. It always hurt on the last game, especially the seniors, but I think they've done all of us proud."

UAB will close out the 2012 season with a 10-8-2 overall record and a 4-4 mark in Conference USA action.