Tigers players pictured after the game celebrating the win. Pictured left to right: Jovan Prado, Emanuel Santos, Wilson Bibiano, Jordan Santa Cruz, Lucas Giolo, Eric Primo.
The Memphis Tigers Men’s Soccer Team (8-4-4) defeated the UAB Blazers (3-9-4) by a score of 2-0 in the final regular season game for both teams. The Tigers finished the season with a confidence-building win as they bounced back from their loss against South Florida.
The game was competitive from the first and final whistle as the Tigers took control of the game in the first half.
The Tigers opened the scoreboard with a goal in the 12th minute by Eric Primo (2), which Cameron Weston and Peter Chang assisted. The scoring would continue as Gabriel Christensen (2) would score in the 35th minute, assisted by Lineker Rodrigues dos Santos.
Despite the score, the Blazers would keep attacking Tigers goalkeeper Colin Welsh as he would finish with five saves, including an incredible diving save in the 85th minute to keep the clean sheet. The clean sheet would mark the sixth of the season for the sophomore goalkeeper.
After the game, Welsh spoke about what the regular season finale win meant for the team.
“It’s good; we really needed that win. It kind of picked us up. We were in a little bit of a slump from our previous game, but the UAB win was a great confidence booster,” Welsh said.
The story of the game was the midfield for the Tigers, which created several chances for the Tigers to shoot on goal by taking control of possession. The Tigers finished the game with the shots advantage, winning 16 (7 SOG) to 13 (5 SOG).
Senior midfielder Bryce Meredith spoke about the win and the team’s confidence heading into the AAC Tournament.
“Getting a win against any team in this conference is a tough thing to do, so I’m proud of the boys. I think we’re all happy about a two-nil win, but we got a big game against Tulsa, most likely, so whoever we play were ready for it,” Meredith stated.
The Tigers played with tremendous confidence and heart despite having a young team on the field. Tigers first-year defender Isaac Dorsey touched on preparing for his first conference tournament and possibly his first NCAA Tournament.
“The energy is 100 percent everything. It’s win or go home now-- no time for mistakes, no time for being scared. Anybody that’s in front of us we respect them, but we’re ready to beat them,” Dorsey expressed.
That is precisely the energy the Tigers need to have ahead of the AAC tournament, as they will be a team that others would not want to take lightly.
The Tigers will play their first game of the AAC Tournament against Tulsa on November 6th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Fans can view the game on ESPN+.