Early Deficit Too Much in 3-1 Loss at UAB
Aug. 29, 2014
Birmingham, Ala. - An early three goal deficit was too much for the Tigers to overcome as they fell 3-1 at UAB in their season opener at West Campus Field on Friday evening.
"We knew UAB was a good physical, attacking team, good on set plays and crosses and unfortunately they capitalized on us pretty early in the game," Head Coach Richard Mulrooney said. "We gave up a couple of early goals and they got a third one late first half. We started the game slow and it was just too much to overcome. We dug ourselves a hole that we couldn't get out of."
"Having said that, I thought the boys responded well," Mulrooney added. Once we got our bearings, I thought the boys battled hard. Quite frankly we had shots, and I wouldn't say all of them were quality, but we hit the post."
The Blazers struck first early in Friday's match when Alex Clay assisted by Karl Chester scored for UAB in the fourth minute of play. The goal for Clay was his first of the season.
Shortly after the UAB goal, Memphis had a chance to tie the game but a chance by Raul Gonzalez hit the post.
Less than 13 minutes later, UAB pushed its lead to 2-0 when Karl Chester scored a goal assisted by Alex Clay and Lars Willemse. Chester's goal was the first of the season as well.
In the 24th minute of play Ian Svantesson, increased the lead to 3-0 for his first goal of the season, assisted by Alex Clay and Mathieu Laurent.
The Tigers trailed the Blazers 3-0 going into the half, but Memphis came out strong in the second half creating multiple chances. Facing a 3-0 deficit, Hayden Cochran scored his first career goal assisted by Fakhry Khulfan.
"It's a good feeling (to bounce back second half)," said Mulrooney. "You always want to see the response. Unfortunately we went through it with Louisville in preseason. We didn't want to go through it again, but like I said give UAB credit for capitalizing on their strengths. They got scores off a couple of crosses and a corner kick."
"Quite frankly they are a tough team to deal with, but we need to find a way to defend that," Mulrooney said. "But we responded well. Freshmen all the way to seniors, the guys battled hard. The end of the day you need more to win games, but down 3-0 their heads didn't go down, if anything it was like a stuck pig and made us more upset and the guys came out and fought harder. We were able to get one back, but it was too many on us for us to catch up."
Despite holding a 24-6 edge in shots, Memphis only put six of those shots on goal.
"We just have to stay positive," Mulrooney said. "Obviously we have some things to work on. We have things we learned tonight and we have to get better at. First game of the year, we have sixteen more, so we have things we need to correct but we have a some good things that will give teams trouble. It's a building process and the next chance to get a win is next Wednesday night against SIUE and I know that the boys will be up for it and quite frankly it can't come soon enough. We want to get this loss off our chests and we're ready to get back out there and hopefully get a result out of a good SIUE team."
The Tigers host their home opener September 3, against SIU-Edwardsville at 7 p.m. (CT).
Fans can follow Memphis men's soccer on Twitter and Instagram at http://twitter.com/memphismsoccer and at http://instagram.com/memphismsoccer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/memphismsoccer.