Massimo Soccer

Illustration by John Hiller/ Staff Illustrator

 

Ideal Starts are What Matter

 

A recap of the past games and what that means for Blazers

 

Massimo Nuzzo
Senior Staff
massimon@uab.edu

 

The UAB men’s soccer team earned their first win of the 2019 Fall Season with a 2-1 overtime win over Milwaukee on September 8. After going down early, the Blazers got their equalizer through Sophomore forward Blake White in the 52nd minute.

 

White’s goal would eventually force overtime, as either side failed to separate themselves during the remainder of regulation time.

 

Just four minutes into overtime, UAB was awarded a penalty after sophomore forward Chandler Shirley was fouled within Milwaukee’s penalty area. 

 

On the resulting penalty kick, Shirly slotted home the game winning goal for the Blazers. 

 

Prior to the win over Milwaukee, UAB had lost their first three matches of the season. They dropped their season opener on August 30 to Marquette by a score of 2-1, with the loss coming in dramatic fashion as the Blazers took the Golden Eagles to double-overtime.

 

 Following the defeat to Marquette, UAB took the field against Wisconsin. Despite a late rally to bring themselves within one, the Blazers fell 2-1 to the Badgers. 

 

Returning to Birmingham, UAB kicked off the UAB Soccer for a Cure Classic against Mercer University. Similar to their matches with Marquette and Wisconsin, it was a closely contested affair.

 

 Blake White scored twice for UAB, but his brace wasn’t enough as Mercer came away with the 3-2 win. 

 

While the season hasn’t gotten off to an ideal start, the results serve as an important lesson going forward.

 

“The biggest takeaway from each of those matches were the little details in our overall approach to games,” said sophomore midfielder DJ Benton. “I think we outplayed all three programs, but we were exposed in moments where we made silly mistakesUAB minimized these mistakes in their 2-1 win over Milwaukee, as they were able to hold the visitors to one and come away with the win. 

 

On top of securing the first win of the season, earning it at BBVA Field means that much more.

 

“It’s good to get our first win, especially at home,”Benton said.  “We finally have the satisfaction of winning and continue to try to build upon that. It’s good for team morale going into the next games.”

 

The Blazers have shown they’re capable of great things with close results against programs the likes of Marquette and Wisconsin, as well as showcasing along the way their ability to put the ball in the back of the net often with six goals scored in their first four matches.

 

“I think fans can expect us to pour our hearts and bodies out on the field and try to give back the energy they give us,” Benton said

In spite of the results, the Blazers continue to show a lot of promise this season.