Nov. 6, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--The UAB men's soccer team will play in the opening round of the 2012 Conference USA Championship on Wednesday, facing No. 3-seed UCF at 7:30 p.m. CT at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.
UAB Defeats UCF, 4-3, To All But Seal A Tourney Spot
Karl Chester scored a pair of goals and Reed Matte added a pair of assists, to lift the men's soccer team to a wild 4-3 win at UCF.
The Blazers last faced UCF merely a week and a half ago, in Orlando, Fla., and took a 4-3 victory courtesy of a pair of second-half goals by freshman Karl Chester. The victory sealed UAB's spot in the conference postseason. UAB won two of its last three matches, falling to rival Memphis, 3-1, to close out the regular season.
At the 2011 Championship in Tulsa, Okla. the Blazers had a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed, and defeated UCF 1-0 before losing 2-0 in the championship game to SMU.
In the recently released Conference USA All-Conference teams, UAB had eight honorees, including senior Mladen Lemez's selection to the All-C-USA First Team. Senior forward Kofi Gyawu, sophomore defender Darion Copeland, and senior defender Reed Matte were named to All-C-USA Second Team, while junior midfielders Chase Wickham and Fatal Alabi took third-team honors. Forwards Karl Chester and Ian Svantesson were named to the 2012 All-Freshman team.
UCF closed out its regular season slate with a pair of road victories at Kentucky and Marshall. In Lexington, junior forward Omar Vallejo scored the lone goal of the game in the 40th minute, and the Knight defense held on despite Kentucky taking a 23-12 shot advantage.
At Marshall, keeper Sebastian Evers recorded four saves, while senior midfielder Eduardo Jimenez scored the game-winning goal with three seconds to go in regulation.
In all, six of the league's top nine teams advance to this year's tournament. Prior to UAB's match, No. 4 Memphis and No. 5 Kentucky will face off in the tournament opener at 5 p.m. CT. The winner of that game will face No. 1-seed SMU on Friday at 5 p.m. CT, while either the Blazers of the Knights will take on No. 2-seed Tulsa at 7:30 p.m. CT. Sunday's championship game is slated for 1 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.