UIC Soccer Preseason Review
Aug. 27, 2007
ATTENTION UIC STUDENTS: UIC Athletics will hold a free cookout for UIC students prior to this Sunday night's home opener against Marquette. UIC students will be able to pick up their Fury t-shirts and enjoy free food prior to the match, which begins at 6:00 p.m.
Chicago, Ill.- The preseason portion of the UIC men's soccer team's 2007 slate is complete, with training now focused on the regular season that starts this Sunday, September 2 at home against BIG EAST foe Marquette.
On Saturday the Flames' final exhibition against Division I competition was a decisive victory for the UIC side. Led by senior Pawel Ligas' two goals and three goals in the final 12 minutes to cement the decision, UIC scored a 5-0 victory over IUPUI as part of the National Soccer Festival at the Fort Wayne Sport Club.
UIC head coach John Trask was pleased with the work and the gains of his squad during the preseason despite some barriers provided by Mother Nature in the form of severe thunderstorms.
"I thought we accomplished quite a bit with this year's squad during preseason," said Trask. "Unfortunately due to the weather we had hoped we'd be a little further along in a few areas.
"The chance to play Big Ten competition in Michigan State allowed for us to test some of our younger players against tough regional competition, and many of them performed very well.
"Our second exhibition game against IUPUI presented a different set of variables for the team," said Trask. "With some quality final third play and good buildup we were able to win the game and get a good confidence boost for many of the players."
Trask applauded the performance of Ligas and his squad during the IUPUI contest and hinted that the Flames are not very far from morphing into a dominant defense for a second consecutive season.
"It was great to see Pawel Ligas get two goals and come very close to notching a hat trick, as well as stellar performances from Alen Husidic and our two goalkeepers, Jovan Bubonja and Jeff Engelbrecht," Trask said. "We have prided ourselves on good individual defense, and if we can improve our small group defending and team shape we will be difficult to score goals against."
UIC's head coach also touched on his team's offensive outburst against the Jaguars.
"Probably the thing that stuck out the most to the entire staff was the quality of scoring chances created and put away," said Trask. "It doesn't matter who you play at the collegiate level; to score five goals in one match is pretty impressive."
As UIC enters the regular season, Trask and his coaching staff are looking forward to what the 2007 season will bring as the team continues to come together.
"The lack of selfishness and final third team play was outstanding for a group of guys who are still getting to know each other. If we can continue to learn and have some synergy as a team, the staff feels that we could be a very good team as we move forward."