Aug. 9, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The UAB men's soccer team opened its fall camp on Tuesday afternoon at West Campus Field. Blazers head coach Mike Getman welcomed 12 returning letterwinners, including six starters, along with 11 newcomers as the team opened the first of its two-a-day practices.
Getman returns his top two scorers in Babayele Sodade (9g, 2a) and Kofi Gyawu (6g, 1a), who combined to score 15 of the team's 35 goals last season. Together, the duo helped the Blazers rank among the nation's scoring leaders.
"Up front, we return two players with a great deal of experience in Kofi and Babyele," Getman said. "Both of them are big, strong, skillful, athletic, they have everything that we want in a forward."
The biggest question mark heading into the season will be at the midfield position. The Blazers had three players who graduated and two of those have since gone on to sign professional contracts (Michal Mravec
and Kevin Sawchak
). However, despite the loss of so many skilled players, Getman feels confident that this year's midfield will still be a strength.
Getman will have to turn towards his four returning players who have experience at the position. Leading the way will be a pair of seniors in Josh Stewart and Chris Williams.
"Midfield will be different from last year, with three starters having graduated," Getman said. "But I'm very confident in our returning players as well as our newcomers to pick up where we left off a year ago."
Defensively, the return of all-conference goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski and three starting defenders should make it tough for opponents to find the back of the net. Last season, UAB ranked among the Conference USA leaders in goals against average (1.11) and it is an area that should only get stronger this year.
UAB will play a pair of home exhibition games beginning with an Aug. 15 meeting against Belhaven at 7 p.m. That contest will be followed by the final exhibition of the year on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. against Lipscomb.
The Blazers will host ACC foe Clemson in the regular-season opener on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.
All home contests will be played at West Campus Field.