Late Goal Not Enough For Soccer To Tie Defending National Champion Indiana|
Aug. 28, 2005
Bloomington, Ind.- Sophomore midfielder Pavle Dundjer scored his third goal in two games, but the UIC soccer team was unable to connect on the tying blow against two-time defending national champion Indiana despite a valiant effort in a 2-1 exhibition loss on Saturday night.
In a preseason friendly that was moved from Armstrong Stadium to Memorial Stadium, Indiana's AstroPlay football field, due to rain that caused Yeagley Field to become unplayable, the Flames played tough the entire match against the consensus preseason No. 1 Hoosiers.
UIC held Indiana scoreless for the first 25 minutes of the match until M.A.C. Hermann award candidate Brian Plotkin took a shot from 30 yards out that deflected off Derek Kosek's back and past keeper Jeff Engelbrecht for a 1-0 Hoosiers lead that carried into halftime.
In the 51st minute a momentary lapse in the UIC midfield allowed Plotkin to find teammate Mike Ambersley in position to convert a chip shot over Englebrecht that gave the Hoosiers a two-goal advantage.
But the Flames continued to hustle and increased the intensity of their attack on the Hoosier goal, creating multiple quality scoring opportunities in the final 25 minutes.
UIC got on the board in the 80th minute thanks to a Dundjer free kick that zipped through a pack of players and past IU keeper Chay Cain to trim the deficit to one goal.
Dundjer finished the two-game exhibition campaign with three goals and an assist for seven points.
In spite of the two goals, Engelbrecht was solid between the posts, as was senior Ross Cain. Both picked up two saves on the night.
UIC head coach John Trask, returning to his alma mater for the first time on an opposing sideline along with former Hoosiers and current UIC assistant coaches Sean Phillips and Phil Presser, was glad to see his team play well on the road against a team the caliber of Indiana.
"I was very, very pleased, considering a bit of adversity was thrown at us with the game moved from Armstrong Stadium to the football stadium," said Trask, referring to the sudden switch from natural grass to artificial turf. "It was a situation where we had to ask ourselves, 'How are we going to respond?' I didn't want them to go out there and not give the effort and then say 'Here's our excuse.'
"I thought we played well the first 25 minutes," continued Trask. "When they score the second goal, that point was the real test for our young players. They showed resilency to play our best soccer in the last 20-25 minutes."
"I was extremely pleased with our two goalkeepers, and we're starting to show we have the team depth that I wasn't sure we had when I came on board in the spring. We're starting to develop the depth you need in order to compete with the best teams in the country."
UIC kicks off the regular season this Saturday, September 3rd when the Flames travel to Irvine, Calif., to face No. 28 Loyola Marymount in the UC Irvine College Classic beginning at 7:00 p.m. Central/5:00 p.m. Pacific.