Sep 8, 2013
CHICAGO – The UIC men’s soccer team came away with its first win of the season Sunday after taking out Western Michigan, 4-2, at Flames Field. The Flames held the shot advantage the entire match, and were able to net three in the second to come out on top of the Broncos.
With its first win, UIC moves to 1-2-0 on the season, as Western Michigan is without a win this season and falls to 0-4-0.
“I think our guys deserve a lot of credit,” head coach Sean Phillips said. “If you don’t bring the fight to the opponent and you don’t do the little things right, you’re not going to get results. The guys played within themselves, they didn’t make it complicated, they kept it simple, and we were able to defend better and score better.”
The Flames were dominant on the offensive side, holding a 15-4 shot advantage on the Broncos, who had just two shots in each half.
Senior Slobodan Aleksov put UIC on the board in the first with an unassisted strike in the 15th minute, but the Broncos would eventually come back with a goal from Oliver Mayer to head into the half, tied at 1-1.
The Flames resurged in the second period and never backed down from the Broncos, as junior Jesus Torres netted a pass from sophomore Jorge Alvarez to take the lead, 2-1, before Alvarez came in with a goal of his own off an assist from Torres.
“What really created the offense was the advantage,” Phillips added. “We had very good defensive pressure, we took what they gave us and we played simple and within ourselves. Today was a bit more direct, but it got some of our most dangerous attacking players into spots where they’re dangerous, and to our credit, they finished today very well.”
With under 10 minutes to play, Western Michigan’s Mayer was awarded a penalty kick and scored after a yellow card was given to freshman goalkeeper Andrew Putna, who had two saves on the day. With the score at 3-2, Aleksov came right back for the Flames and scored his second goal of the game to secure the win.
“This is a very good performance upon which to build,” said Phillips. “Credit to some of our senior leadership, especially to Slobodan (Aleksov), who took a moment of adversity, turned around, and put the fourth goal in. We were able to give some guys rest and some guys opportunity, and that will create good selection challenges for our trip down to Nashville.”
Next up for the Flames is a trip to Nashville, Tenn., where they will compete in the Belmont University Invitational against Lipscomb on Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT and Belmont on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 2:30 p.m. Both matches will be held at Rose Park.