BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The VCU Men's Soccer team suffered a 2-1 overtime defeat at the hands of host UAB at the Soccer for a Cure Tournament.
UAB's Reed Matte finished the contest with an unassisted tally in 95th minute of play. Matte drove past his defender, before directing his shot into the low right corner of the VCU goal.
"First off, credit to UAB for scoring two goals and getting the result," said VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard. "Tonight's game was a tough one in many respects. UAB is very big, athletic and direct in a lot of roles. We needed to be very sharp on the ball and keep possession better than we did to try and limit their opportunities to put balls in dangerous spots; unfortunately I don't think we were quite as sharp on either side of the ball as we could have been and if you give a team like that too many chances, they are going to punch you in the nose, which they did."
With tonight's loss, the Rams fall to 5-2 overall, while UAB improves to 4-0-2. For the second straight game, the Rams jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a goal in the first half of play, only to see the home team respond with goals in the second half and overtime.
VCU freshman defender Juan Monge Solano tallied the game's first goal in the 34th minute of play following a foul on UAB. The San Jose, Costa Rica, native served in a cross from 45-yards out, which held up in the air and drifted towards the goal before slipping through the goalkeeper's hands and into the net. It marked the third goal of the season for the defender.
The VCU defense held tough in the first frame, as senior goalkeeper Josh Pantazelos staved off three shots.
At the end of 45 minutes of play, VCU held a slight 5-4 shots advantage, while the Blazers earned five corner kicks compared to four for the Rams.
UAB knotted the game up at 1-1 in the 53rd minute, with Miaden Lemez recording his first goal of the season. Lemez served in a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box, which Pantazelos was able to get a hand on, but not enough to keep the ball from crossing the goal line.
Following 90 minutes of action, with the two teams tied 1-1, the game headed to overtime.
The Blazers had a dangerous chance in the 91st minute, with Lemez creating a dangerous chance, when his shot caromed off the crossbar.
UAB was able to seal the victory just four minutes later with the game-winner from Matte.
UAB finished the match with a 12-8 shots advantage, while the Rams held a 10-6 corner kicks advantage. Pantazelos posted four saves for VCU in the match, while Carl Woszczynski collected five saves for UAB.
"I feel four our guys for giving all they did to the game and not getting the result, but the game is honest and if all the details aren't quite right, you are going to pay the price," added Giffard. "Now we have to turn our attention to a very good Gardner-Webb team on Sunday afternoon."
VCU and Gardner-Webb are slated to meet this Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Bulldogs defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2-1, in the first game of the Soccer for a Cure Tournament.