By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Two first-half UAB goals spelled trouble for the Tennessee Tech soccer team, as a pair of Blazer scores in the opening period proved to be the difference in a 2-0 defeat for the Golden Eagles. UAB becomes the first team to find the back of the net in regulation in five matches against Tech (3-2-0) this season, snapping TTU's three-match winning streak in the process.
The Blazers (5-1-1) split the pipes twice in the span of eight minutes midway through the opening stanza, kick started by a 19th minute goal by sophomore Megan Hudgens that unwrapped the scoring. The Alpharetta, Ga. native received a pair of passes from Caroline Kehrer and Rachel Green, before her shot from inside the box snuck inside the far post to give UAB a 1-0 edge. Kehrer and Green both earned assists on the play.
Shortly after in the 27th minute, Kehrer took matters into her own hands, padding the 1-0 lead with her third goal of the year. The 5-foot-9 junior headed in a cross from fellow junior Jessica Do to double up the Blazers advantage at 2-0.
Despite the two goals allowed, the Golden Eagles still possessed the first-period shot advantage with a slim 5-4 cushion.
Tech came out scorching in the second half in its bid at a comeback, tallying four shots within the first 12 minutes, three of which were on-goal. Sophomore Dani Shartouny attempted a pair within the first seven minutes, both gobbled up UAB goalkeeper Kelsey Daugherty.
The Blazers did not take their first shot in the second half until a shade over 20 minutes into the period, a Jamiera Lunsford try that missed wide. UAB's first shot on-goal in the closing stanza did not occur until the 82nd minute, another Lunsford attempt that was halted by Kari Naerdemann.
Naerdemann would end up with four saves in the match, stopping all four attempts that came her way after the two UAB goals. On the other side of the equation, Daugherty mirrored Naerdemann's four saves with four of her own en route to the Blazers third shutout of the year.
The Golden Eagles will continue their longest road swing of the year Sunday evening, traveling to the University of Alabama for a 5 p.m. CT first kick with the Crimson Tide.
Photo by Tony Marable