UAB is now off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2005 campaign and for the fourth time since 2000.
"Anytime you have two wins, you have to be happy," UAB head coach Mike Getman said. "But anytime you play back-to-back (Friday and Sunday) against good teams is difficult. I was really proud of our guys for not just the way we played, but how hard we worked to get the win today."
The win did not come easy for the Blazers as they played a man down for the final 15 minutes of the contest due to Karl Chester receiving his second yellow card of the match at the 74:11 mark. But the defense buckled down and lifted the Blazers to a second straight victory to open the year.
The game started off a little slow, but the Blazers finally broke through at the 41:14 mark of the first half when Lemez scored his first goal of the season. The tally was set up by a free kick fromDiego Navarrete, which was taken from the far left side of the field. His service found Lemez, who deflected the ball with the back of his head and into the corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Just over a minute into the second half, at the 46:08 mark, UAB extended in its lead as Gyawu scored his second goal in as many games and first game-winner of the campaign. The scoring play was set up when senior defender Milan Milinkovic took a ball down the right flank. He then sent a low cross,` which freshman forward Ian Svantesson deflected right to the feet of Gyawu. The Atlanta, Ga. native then deposited a shot into the corner of the goal from six yards out for a two-goal UAB lead.
Georgia Southern would finally get on the board at the 73:27 mark, after creating several near-scoring chances. The Eagles goal was set up when Seth Prieto sent a cross that found a wide-open Reed Norton. The Georgia Southern midfielder, who finished with a game-high seven shots, took two touches and ripped a shot from 22 yards out which went into the far lower corner to cut the lead in half.
Less than a minute later, UAB was really put on its heels when Chester picked up a second yellow card, forcing the Blazers to play with 10 men for the remainder of the game.
But the UAB back line was up for the challenge, thwarting any offensive attack that the Eagles presented.
The Eagles outshot the Blazers 14-9, but both teams finished with five shots on goal. The contest was a physical one, with the teams combining for 34 fouls and seven yellow cards.
UAB will next travel to Charlotte, N.C. where it will take on the No. 8 Charlotte 49ers on Friday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m. CT (7 p.m. ET). The 49ers, who were the 2011 NCAA runners-up, defeated the Blazers in the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament.