CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The No. 17 UAB men’s soccer team suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of Charlotte in the 2013 Conference USA Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday night. With the loss, UAB has been eliminated from the conference tournament and will await its postseason fate for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
“It was a very disappointing first half,” head coach Mike Getman stated. “I thought we made a mistake on one of their goals, but I thought we worked incredibly hard in the second half. We played some good soccer, created chances to not only get the one but maybe get a second.”
UAB (12-5-1) trailed early in the third and final quarterfinal match of the 2013 Conference USA Tournament. Junior forward Giuseppe Gentile put the host 49ers ahead in the 21st minute. Gentile collected a cross into the UAB box and slotted the ball into the far post.
Charlotte (10-5-3) would extend its advantage to 2-0 in the 37th minute. Gentile broke away from the Blazers’ defense and had a one-on-one opportunity with senior goalkeeper Raphael Ville. The junior forward placed a ball to the far post, once again, and a diving Ville could not collect the save.
UAB would not give up so easily. Out of the halftime break, junior forward Diego Navarrete applied pressure on a Charlotte defender who was attempting to play the ball to the 49ers keeper. The defender headed the ball over the goalkeeper into the Charlotte goal, trimming the 49ers lead to 2-1 in the 48th minute.
The Blazers’ best opportunity to knot the score came late in the match. Sophomore forward Freddy Ruiz collected a pass just outside out the Charlotte box in the 84th minute. Ruiz charged towards the net and placed a shot to the far post, but was just wide.
Ville kept UAB in the match with excellent goalkeeping. The 2013 All-Conference USA performer had seven saves on the night, matching his season-best. In addition, Ville has recorded 14 saves in the past two matches.
“Charlotte battles and fights,” concluded Getman. “They are a really tough team to play against. Two goals down is hard to come back from.”
The UAB men’s soccer team will find out its postseason fate on Monday afternoon when the 2013 NCAA Tournament bracket is announced. The selection show will broadcast on NCAA.com at 11 a.m. CT.
Notes: Senior goalkeeper Raphael Ville collected seven saves on the night, matching his season-best. In addition, Ville now has 14 saves in the past two matches … Tonight’s match marked the third straight year that UAB and Charlotte have faced off in postseason play.