Soccer Rallies To Down Drury In Season Opener, 4-2|
Aug. 30, 2002
Morton, Ill. - Behind senior Bruno Rasich's first career multi-goal performance, the UIC soccer team erased a pair of early deficits to down Drury, 4-2, in the opening game of the 2002 Holiday Inn City Centre Classic in Morton, Ill.
With the victory, the Flames (1-0) notched a win in the season lid-lifter for the first time since 1998 and just the second time since 1987. The Panthers, meanwhile, drop to 0-1 on the year.
UIC trailed early in the contest 1-0, but Rasich knotted the score in the 37th minute of the contest as he bent a free kick past Drury keeper Chad Yeary.
The tie would not last long, though, with Drury capitalizing for the second time on the evening on a well-placed cross. This time it was freshman Andrew Clifton who got a boot on a pass from junior Brian Crossan, sneaking it past freshman keeper Ross Cain for a 2-1 Panther lead.
That lead would hold until the 52nd minute when junior Dennis King, UIC's top returning scorer, tallied his first goal of the campaign, lacing a free kick attempt into the upper right hand corner of the goal to even the score at 2-2.
Rasich would complete the Flames' comeback in the 63rd minute, scoring his second goal of the evening to give UIC a 3-2 lead. Senior Joe Morelli set up the goal with a nifty run between three Panther defenders, before taking a strike on goal. Goalkeeper Yeary was able to get a hand on the shot attempt, but it deflected out to Rasich, who was there to boot in the rebound for the score.
Freshman Jason Kieffer would cap the Flames' scoring, connecting on his first collegiate goal in the 75th minute to give UIC a 4-2 edge. Sophomore Patrick Grange and junior Ross Felten were credited with assists on the play.
Freshman keeper Ross Cain, who made his first collegiate start in place of the injured Jeff Kusiciel, was strong in goal with five saves en route to his first win.
The Flames missed on several early scoring opportunities, with Panther keeper Yeary saving a King shot while Grange missed wide and high on two other first-half chances.
Drury finally was able to break through the UIC defense in the 29th minute as senior John Pedroli redirected a pass from Jake McFather past Cain to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
The Flames will look for their first 2-0 start since 1987 when they take on tournament host, Bradley, on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., in Morton, Ill.