BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The No. 25 UAB men’s soccer team used a come-from-behind effort, scoring three goals in the second half, to top the Missouri State Bears, 3-1, Tuesday night at West Campus Field.
“I thought our guys really performed well in the second half,” head coach Mike Getman said following the win. “I certainly didn’t think we would score three goals against this team. The way the game went the first half, I thought Missouri State was very good. They didn’t just defend well, they attacked well and had us a bit confused. In the second half our guys figured it out and played extremely well.”
Missouri State was the top defensive team in the nation last season, allowing just eight goals all year, and returned as one of the nation’s toughest this season with just three goals allowed entering Tuesday night (12th in NCAA). UAB was the nation’s top scoring offense from a year ago and entered the match with 12 goals on the season.
The Blazers (5-2-1) entered the halftime break facing a 1-0 deficit, but made adjustments and found the back of the net three times in the final 45 minutes to win their second-straight game.
Lars Willemse opened the scoring for the Blazers in the 56th minute off a corner kick assist from Stewart Abrahart – his second-straight game with a helper. Rami Dajani gave UAB the lead in the 72nd minute with help from James Nanje Ngoe and David Valverde.
Freddy Ruiz entered the match with three goals scored in the last three matches and added to his team-leading total of five via a penalty kick in the 84th minute to seal the Blazers’ 3-1 victory.
UAB’s three goals scored against Missouri State on Tuesday are the most the Bears have given up since the 2012 season when they fell to SIU Edwardsville, 3-0.
The Green and Gold led the way in shots with nine as a team and held the Bears to seven. Ruiz and Alex Clay each took three shots for one on goal.
The Blazers return to the field on Saturday to open up Conference USA play at FIU. Kick is set for 6 p.m. from Miami.