The 49ers (8-6, 4-3 C-USA) took on the UAB Blazers (7-5-1, 4-2 C-USA) in an inter-conference match Friday, Oct. 12. The Blazers were the victor, defeating the 49ers 0-1.
Before the match, seniors Amelia Clower and Abby Coffey were recognized for their collegiate careers as 49ers. The crowd stood and applauded the senior defender and goalkeeper as they stood and waved at midfield.
The first half of the match was a defensive battle that tested starting goalkeeper Abby Stapleton’s fortitude. She ended the half with five saves and was the shield of the team.
The 49ers weren’t as aggressive in the first half shooting the ball a total of six times, compared to Blazers’ 11 attempted shots. Junior forward Megan Greene led the charge in the first half shooting the ball four times.
“I just wanted to get a goal and put my team in a good position.” said Greene.
UAB goalkeeper Kelsey Daugherty demonstrated why she was named to the All-Conference USA First Team last season. Her defense was impenetrable and her success in goal continued into the second half of the match.
The 49ers noticeably came into the second half significantly more aggressive than they had in the first half.
“We needed a reaction. We hadn’t played particularly well in the first half and so we looked for a reaction; we got it.” said Coach John Cullen.
Despite the 49ers chance of pace in the second half, freshman forward Kamilah Mustafa scored the only goal of the contest during the period to put UAB up by one.
“We had some chances in the second half. There was a couple of ricochets off the bar that cleared off the line and then one kind of goes in. I’m not sure if it’s in or not so we gotta respect the referees’ decision.” said Coach John Cullen.
While the 49ers look forward to playing in El Paso against the UTEP Miners, the conference tournament remains in the back of the team’s mind.
“The real goal is we gotta play better first of all. We gotta get away from saying conference tournament. I think that’s probably in the back of our minds. I think we gotta be playing better, and if we can play better then there is a conference tournament,” said Coach John Cullen.
The 49ers will look to defeat the UTEP Miners in El Paso Thursday, Oct. 18. The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m, and it’s an inter-conference game, so there’s a lot at stake and the Niners hope to stake their claim.