Falcons drop exhibition opener against UAB

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

The University of Montevallo men’s soccer team opened its exhibition schedule Aug. 16 with a 5-2 loss to nationally-ranked UAB at West Campus Field in Birmingham.

The Blazers netted the first four goals in the contest before Montevallo midfielder Giuliano Frano stole a pass and fired a shot past UAB goalkeeper Hunter Weber in the 59th minute to cut the deficit to 4-1.

Following another UAB goal, Kyle Stuller set up Frano for the Falcons’ final goal in the 84th minute to cut the deficit to 5-2.

Shane Howard, Steven Didik and Ryuhei Nose each finished with a shot on goal for the Falcons. Montevallo goalkeeper Brendan Ledgeway finished with five saves.

Montevallo coach Ken Hassler said he saw several positives in the match against the Blazers, who enter the season ranked No. 21 in National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division I men’s soccer poll.

“I think it was a great test for us,” Hassler said. “It’s a match we look forward to. The best part of it is the goals we gave up are correctable errors.”

The Falcons have two more exhibition contests scheduled. Montevallo will travel to Division I Belmont University for an exhibition match Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. before returning home to face the University of Mobile on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.

Montevallo opens the regular season Aug. 31 on the road at Eckerd College at 6 p.m.