HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Senior forward Babayele Sodaderecorded a pair of goals and an assist to lead the UAB men's soccer team to a 3-2 win at Marshall on Saturday night. The victory marked the fifth-straight for the Blazers, who improve to 10-3-2 overall and 4-1 in Conference USA play.
Sophomore Chase Wickhamalso had a strong night, recording a goal and an assist in the winning effort.
"I thought we played extremely well in the first half, controlled how the game was played, and deserved to be up 1-0," UAB head coach Mike Getmansaid. "In the second half Marshall played extremely hard, there were lots of fouls and we found it hard to get our rhythm. The last 20 minutes we took control back, scored two great goals and then hung on for the win.
"I am very proud of how our team played," Getman continued. "This is a very hard place to win ¬- we are the only C-USA team to win at Marshall this year."
Sodade had a hand in each of UAB's three goals on the night, scoring the first goal, assisting on the second and collecting the game-winning tally on the third.
The Windsor, Ontario native has now recorded six game-winning goals this season, including one in each of UAB's last three matches, and has a team-leading 11 goals, five assists and 27 points on the campaign.
Sodade's performance Saturday came on the heels of scoring the game-winning goal in the waning seconds in last Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Memphis in Regions Park. He also recorded the game winner against then-No. 6 UCF on Oct. 15.
"Babayele has had a great year so far," Getman sid. "The last three weeks, he has been unstoppable. Teams know he is our go to guy, but they still can't keep him off the board. Like most big time players, he seems to play his best in the big games."
Of the five goals scored between the two teams on the night, only one came in the opening 45 minutes of play, while the final three came in the game's final six minutes.
The game's first tally came off the head of Sodade at the 29:51 mark of the first half, off an assist by Wickham.
The Thundering Herd (7-6-1, 3-2-1 C-USA) responded in the 51st minute of play when Anthony Virgara struck a corner kick which was headed in the back of the goal by Travis Brent to even the game at 1-1.
The score remained the same until the 84:44 mark, when Sodade slotted a ball through the Marshall defense, that found the feat of Wickham. The Vancouver, British Columbia native calmly deposited his shot past Marshall goalkeeper Daniel Withrow, giving the Blazers a 2-1 lead.
Just over two minutes later, Sodade broke away from the Marshall defense and beat Withrow, giving UAB an insurmountable two-goal cushion with just under three minutes left.
However, the Herd would not go down without a fight, as Jordan Hilgefort scored 32 seconds later, at the 87:27 mark, to cut the Blazers lead to one goal. But that's as close as Marshall would get.
Withrow, who entered the night ranked second in C-USA with a 0.88 goals against average, allowed more goals to UAB than he has allowed to all but one other opponent this season. He finished the contest with three saves.
Meanwhile, UAB goalkeeper Carl Woszczynskicollected four saves in the winning effort. The Blazers defense also played strong, making a pair of stops on the goal line to preserve the victory.
The Herd owned an 18-7 shots advantage, but the Blazers were much more efficient, with six of its seven shots on frame.
The Blazers will next face another stiff test when they travel to Dallas, Texas to take on nationally-ranked SMU on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CT.