BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On a crisp, cool Thursday night at PNC Field, the UTSA soccer team (5-6-3, 0-3-2 AAC) battled UAB (4-4-5, 0-1-4 AAC) to a 1-1 draw at the conclusion of a physical defensive struggle to kick off the Roadrunners two-game road week. Tonight’s result marks the second UTSA draw in American Athletic Conference play and snapped a four-game losing streak.
Defense from both corners dominated the opening 45 minutes, producing a scoreless first half that saw just two shots put up by each squad. Though the Roadrunners maintained a decisive corner kick advantage with a 6-1 margin and held a 33-18 attacking advantage in the opposing third, strike opportunities didn’t come to fruition.
It was UAB’s Jolie St. Louis who first broke the deadlock, scoring in the 50th minute to the left side of the net off an Avery Berryman pass.
Just under 14 minutes later, Jordan Walker delivered the program’s first goal in American Athletic Conference play, equalizing the score with a 63rd-minute header looped over the keeper into the left side of the net – courtesy of a perfectly-targeted Avery Chaney free kick. The score was Walker's second of the year.
Though a 66th-minute red card issued to top UAB defender Canby Biddle left the Blazers playing with 10 for the final 24 minutes, UAB maintained a tough defensive formation and blocked the Roadrunners from gaining the upper hand. Despite a steady six-shot stretch over the first 20 minutes of the half, there were just three attempted in the final 24 ticks.
Five different Roadrunners accounted for a shot against one of the AAC’s stingiest defenses, with Walker, Olivia Alvarez and Jordyn Hyland taking shots on goal. Making her eighth start, freshman goalkeeper Jasmine Kessler recorded three saves and snuffed out several developing UAB opportunities around the box.
UTSA: Jordan Walker (63’)
UAB: Jolie St. Louis (50’)
Quoting Coach Derek Pittman
"Proud of our team for responding on the road after going down 0-1 and finding a way to get a valuable point towards the standings. There continues to be a lot of positives about our play and our team needs to trust themselves to carry out the game plan to overcome each game as they come. We will turn our attention towards getting better for Sunday against Temple."
The UTSA road swing continues northeast to the longest away site of the season, as UTSA heads to Philadelphia to face Temple for the first time in program history. The Owls are 2-9-3 (0-5-0 AAC) after dropping a 1-0 home setback to Rice on Thursday at the Temple Sports Complex.
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