BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In its final exhibition match of the year, the UAB men’s soccer team posted a 3-0 victory against Jacksonville University on Saturday, Aug. 24 at West Campus Field.
“I thought today we really looked like the team I think we can be,” head coach Mike Getman said. “In the first half, in particular, we had a really nice rhythm, played really well, and created a great goal. I was really pleased with the team so far.”
Getman had a reason to be excited with the Green and Gold’s play. The squad jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute, thanks to a goal from sophomore Freddy Ruiz.
UAB continued to be the aggressor into the second half, tallying a goal early in the second frame to give them a 2-0 advantage. Junior Darion Copeland connected on a header on a corner kick from redshirt senior Patrick Huang in the 52nd minute.
Just over 10 minutes later, redshirt junior Alex Clay scored the final goal of the night. Clay collected a ball from Ruiz and put it past Jacksonville’s Marc Meny to secure the 3-0 victory for the Blazers.
“I thought our first exhibition was okay,” Getman stated. “The second one was a little bit better. I thought today was really quite good. I think we have made good progress and am happy where they are.”
Senior Raphael Ville and redshirt freshman Joe Kuzminksy combined for the team’s second clean sheet in exhibition play. Ville stopped four shots in the first 72 minutes of play, while Kuzminksy recorded two saves in the final 18 minutes.
The Green and Gold were able to put on a show in front of a large audience in its last exhibition match of the year. Over 1,000 people were in attendance at West Campus Field, many of them being Free Youth Clinic Day participants.
“This is what UAB soccer is supposed to be,” Getman commented. “We had great community support. I thought it was a really exciting event. I think that helped our players to perform at a higher level. When you have 1,000 people in the stands, it motivates you.”
UAB will open the regular season at the VCU Classic in Richmond, Va. on Friday, Aug. 30. The Blazers will take on tournament-host VCU at 6:30 p.m.