MACON, Ga. – The UAB men’s soccer team recorded two goals in the final 13 minutes en route to a 2-1 victory at Mercer on Sunday night. Junior defender Ian Svantesson scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute against the Bears.
“It was a good comeback,” said head coach Mike Getman. “We have talked for years about soccer games being 90 minutes long and if you keep the ball and move the ball, teams tend to get tired. I thought that definitely happened tonight where possessions led to chances being created.”
Mercer (1-1) took an early lead in the 25th minute. After a UAB penalty inside its own box, Mercer sophomore midfielder Nickolas Tripodi recorded a goal on a penalty kick to put the host-Bears up 1-0.
UAB (2-0) was the aggressor throughout the first 45 minutes of play, despite the early tally. The Blazers outshot its opponent, 9-3, in the first half, with six shots coming on goal. Redshirt senior midfielder Alex Clay recorded four shots on goal.
Throughout the second half, the UAB men’s soccer team was searching for the equalizer. In the 77th minute, junior forward Freddy Ruiz tied the match up. Ruiz put a shot to the left corner of the net for his first goal of the 2014 season. Freshman midfielder DeAndre Robinson had an assist on the play.
Capitalizing off the momentum of the equalizer, UAB was able to push ahead nine minutes later. Ruiz played a ball to Svantesson. Svantesson fired a ball into the left corner to put the Blazers ahead with only minutes to spare.
“The second half felt like the goals were going to come,” Getman added. “It was just a matter of when. Once we got the first one, we got the second one. That was really the end of the match.”
Following Svantesson’s theatrics, there was a 30-minute delay due to lightning in the Macon, Ga. area. UAB would hold off Mercer and would improve its record to 2-0 on the 2014 campaign.
The UAB men’s soccer team returns the pitch on Friday night at the Hurricane Classic. UAB takes on Cal State Northridge at 5 p.m. CT in Tulsa, Okla.