Men's Soccer Posts 3-2 Exhibition Win over Saint Louis

Junior Jorge Alvarez scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute.
Junior Jorge Alvarez scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute.
Aug. 20, 2014

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CHICAGO – The UIC men’s soccer team scored three goals off four shots in the second half to come away with a 3-2 victory against Saint Louis on Wednesday night at Flames Field in its second exhibition match of the season. Junior Jorge Alvarez headed in the game-winner off a pass from freshman Nathan Laude in the 73rd minute.

“Anytime you go out and compete, you want to try and find a way to win,” head coach Sean Phillips said. “With it being preseason, we want to balance it out to make sure our performances are good and the direction the team is going is good.”

“The first half was a little disappointing, credit to a very good Saint Louis team for that, as they came at us and did an excellent job. In the second half, credit to our team. We played like a team and started to remember what made us successful individually and collectively last year with our transition, our tackling and our ability to get into the attack and combine in the right parts of the field.”

In the first half of play, the Billikens drove in an early goal in the ninth minute when Josh Kohring scored off the corner kick from Marco Heskamp. UIC continued to battle for possession and made four shot attempts, with two on goal by redshirt-junior Zack Judickas and junior Joel Salmeron, as Saint Louis was held to three shots.

The Flames came together in the second half and tied the game just four minutes into play in the 49th minute as senior Jesus Torres connected with freshman Sergio Fuentes for the equalizer. Ten minutes later in the 59th minute, it was freshman Jose Fuentes who scored the go-ahead goal off a pass from Salmeron.

In the 73rd minute, UIC went up by two on what proved to be the game-winning goal as Alvarez headed in a pass from the far right wing by Laude. Saint Louis scored its second goal off the corner kick in the 83rd minute on a header by Justin Graham from Joe Saad.

“The other nice thing about today was we had two freshmen score, with both of the assists from upperclassmen, and had an upperclassman score, with an assist from a freshman, so it looks like the team is balancing itself out. Players all across the field and all across the experience spectrum played a role in tonight's game and it was great to see.”

Sophomore Andrew Putna played all 90 minutes for the Flames in goal and made two saves on the night. The Billikens’ Sascha Otte and Bryan Seefeld split time in net, with Otte making two saves and Seefeld allowing UIC’s three goals.

“We still have to work a little bit on our set piece defending and our set piece attacking, but again, we are just now seven days into preseason, so I am sure that will be something that gets addressed. If we don't address it against a great team like Bradley on Sunday, we could be in for a long day.”

UIC is back at Flames Field on Sunday for its final exhibition match against Bradley. Action gets underway at 3:30 p.m. CT following the UIC women’s soccer team’s inaugural regular season game at 1 p.m.