BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB men’s soccer team was back to scoring goals in bunches, defeating Mercer, 4-0, on Saturday night at West Campus Field. With the win, UAB improves to 4-1-1 on the year, which marks the most wins the squad has collected through six matches since 2011.
“Last weekend, we didn’t score any goals, but against two very good defensive teams,” head coach Mike Getman said. “Then today we played very well. We scored some goals, but the truth lies somewhere in the middle.”
For the majority of the first half, neither team could break through and put one on the scoreboard. 43 minutes into the period, the Blazers were finally able to break through. Senior forward Atak Yai came streaking down the left side, looking for a pass from a teammate. The ball was fed to Yai, but a Mercer defender jumped in front, attempting to clear the pass. The clear went into the net, giving the Green and Gold a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
Out of the break, UAB went right back to where it left off. Sophomore defender Ian Svantesson headed in senior midfielder Patrick Huang’s corner kick to give the Blazers a 2-0 advantage in the 50th minute.
10 minutes later, the Green and Gold struck again. Freshman defender Lars Willemse sent a cross into the Mercer box. Sophomore forward Freddy Ruiz collected the pass then fired the ball into the top right corner for his fourth goal of the year.
With minutes remaining in regulation, UAB added an insurance goal. Junior Ian Michalak sent a header towards the Mercer goal, which Bears’ junior goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh pushed away. Redshirt freshman midfielder Aaron Getman-Pickering collected the rebound and tried to put it past Ranjitsingh, to no avail. The third time was a charm, as Michalak got the rebound and put it past the Mercer goalkeeper to secure the 4-0 win for the Blazers.
“Today, the ball went in the net for us,” added Getman. “Last week, it didn’t. That’s just soccer sometimes. I’m more concerned with how we performed each game and I thought today was overall a really good performance.”
The UAB men’s soccer team will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 25 when it hosts Belmont. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m. at West Campus Field.
Notes: Junior defender Ian Michalak tallied his first goal of his collegiate career against Mercer … Redshirt freshman midfielder Aaron Getman-Pickering was credited with the assist on the play, his first point in a Green and Gold uniform … Freshman defender Lars Willemse also collected his first point as a Blazer, recording an assist against the Bears … Sophomore forward Freddy Ruiz registered his fourth goal of 2013 on Saturday night, which is tied for most on the team … Senior goalkeeper Raphael Ville and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky combined for the clean sheet.