Men's Soccer Shuts Out Ohio State, 2-0
Ned Pavlovic got the Flames on the board in the sixth minute, and senior midfielder Ivan Stanisavljevic provided an insurance goal in the 83rd minute, lifting the UIC men's soccer team to a 2-0 blanking of Ohio State at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Flames have now defeated the Buckeyes three-straight times in non-conference play, dating back to the 2009 campaign.
"Coming off of a loss, the performance of the guys today was very good," said head coach Sean Phillips. "They are deserving of the result. To go on the road and come away with a 2-0 win over a very good Ohio State team speaks to the character that we have with this group of guys."
UIC created numerous offensive chances in the early going, capped off by Pavlovic's eventual game-winner. Sophomore frontrunner Jesus Torres beat his man on the right side, and crossed the ball toward freshman midfielder Kyle Lindberg. He chested the ball down to fellow freshman Jorge Alvarez, who played a deflected ball to Pavlovic for the finish. Junior goalkeeper Piotr Kikolski helped the Flames preserve the 1-0 lead through the opening 45 minutes, making a total of five first-half saves.
"We set up several packages to catch them on the counter, and we did a lot of that early," Phillips said. "Ned's best asset is his ability to score - when we give him the opportunity, he's going to put the ball in the back of the net. Jorge (Alvarez) helped create the goal, and Ned finished to the left post very calmly. Hopefully this gets him going on a nice little run throughout the season."
Stanisavljevic scored his first goal of the season late in the second half (82:17), capitalizing on another advantage in the counter attack. The unassisted tally pushed the reigning Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year's season point total to three (one goal, one assist) through two matches.
"Ivan played very well the whole game," said Phillips. "On his goal, we caught Ohio State on another counter. He ran at their team for about 35 yards, turned their defense around two or three times, and just calmly placed the ball into the back post low on the ground. The timing of the goal was excellent."
Kikolski made eight saves to preserve his fifth-career shutout. In all, Ohio State recorded a slight 14-13 lead in the shots department, and tallied a 14-4 advantage on corner kicks.
"Early on, Piotr (Kikolski) made a couple of very good saves to keep the score at 1-0," Phillips said. "And then in the second half, when Ohio State started to really apply some pressure, he was able to deal with the crosses and the through balls. He also made another very good save in the second half. He managed the game nicely for the team; that's very big for his confidence."
As mentioned, UIC has won three-consecutive games over OSU, including two-straight victories in Columbus. The Flames won 1-0 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in 2009 and shutout the Buckeyes at Flames Field in 2010.
UIC will wrap up its three-game road trip next Friday (Aug.31), when the Flames travel to Milwaukee to take on Marquette beginning at 7:05 p.m. CST. The Flames defeated the Golden Eagles, 2-1 in the season opener at Flames Field last August.