Late goal robs win from MU

Mike Carlson's body language said it all.

When the final horn sounded, the freshman defender leaned over in the center of the field, put his hands on his thighs and stared at the grass between his cleats.

After a minute of reflection Carlson walked toward the Alabama-Birmingham players to shake hands, but he retained the dejected, downward stair.

Carlson and his teammates on the men's soccer team hung their heads after Saturday's game against the Blazers because they dominated the visiting team, but lost 2-1 before 314 fans at Valley Fields, due to a defensive lapse late in the second half.

With four minutes to go, UAB junior Sandy Gbandi chipped the ball to teammate Maurice Hughes, who was wide open deep in Marquette territory. The junior forward turned with the ball and beat Marquette freshman goalkeeper Steven Grow for the game win.

The ball "came up the sideline and we didn't clear it out too well, and they just caught us on our heels," Grow said. "Even though we have the ball, we need to pay attention defensively. We were expecting it to be cleared, it wasn't, then we got caught on our heels and it falls in the back of our net."

Head coach Steve Adlard added: "Before they scored the second goal we put ourselves under some pressure. They were eating into the game a little bit. They were chipping away at it. They had a belief they could get something and, to their credit, they did."

With the exception of Hughes' late strike and an earlier breakdown in the back that left Leanard de Oliveira free to deposit the ball in the Golden Eagles' net, Marquette was the team applying the pressure.

The offensive onrush by the Eagles led to a goal by senior midfielder Chris Lee with five minutes and 55 seconds to go in the first half.

The play began when senior defender Danny Mullin delivered a free kick to Lee at the top of the box. Lee laid the ball off to Ryan Nikchevich, and then got it right back when the sophomore midfielder played a cross into the box.

Lee trapped the ball, turned on his defender and drilled a shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net to even the score at 1-1.

It was Lee's fourth goal in as many matches and he leads the team with nine points — four goals and one assist. After the match he was livid he didn't contribute more.

"We out shot them 23-12 … blame it on Lee, blame it on me," said Lee, who finished with six shots, four of which were on goal.

Adlard disagreed with Lee. He was pleased with the senior forward's performance, especially his work with sophomore midfielder Bryan Dahlquist.

"I thought he played very well. He got a great goal, credit to him for that," Adlard said. "… He laid a couple of great passes to Dahlquist, who took great shots but they just got saved. That was kind of a nice addition to our game. I liked that part of our game."

Adlard was also happy with the team's performance as a whole.

"I thought we played the best we've played all year," he said. "We played with flair, with belief, with skill. We dominated large portions of the game. I feel disappointed for the team, to play that well and to come away with nothing."