Flames Defeat Belmont, Record Second-Consecutive Shutout

Senior Josh Beard
Senior Josh Beard

Sept. 15, 2013

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The UIC men’s soccer team came away with its second win and shutout of the weekend when seniors Josh Beard and Alexios Fronimos scored to lift the Flames to a 2-0 victory Sunday over Belmont at Rose Park on the final day of the Belmont Invitational.

UIC now improves its record to 3-2-0 on the season, after winning its last three matches, as Belmont moves to 2-2-0, with a 1-1-0 record this weekend.

"It's always very difficult to get two shutout wins on the road," head coach Sean Phillips said.  "We knew going into this game, after watching Belmont beat our Horizon League-opponent Cleveland State, 1-0, on Friday at home, that this was going to be a very difficult opponent.  They're a talented, athletic, hard-working, spirited team that had very good runs of play, but our goalkeeper came up with one tremendous save and did well with balls in the air."

The shots were limited in the first period with the Flames firing off just three attempts, as the Bruins were not even given an opportunity.  Despite the limited chances, UIC got on the board in the 14th minute when Beard put the ball past Belmont’s freshman goalkeeper Grayson Rector for his third career goal off a corner kick served in by senior Slobodan Aleksov.

Belmont came out kicking in the second and tallied 10 shots in the first 20 minutes, with senior Joao Fonseca recording the lone shot on goal for the Bruins of the game and forcing freshman goalkeeper Andrew Putna to make the save.  Belmont went on to attempt four more shots, taking all 14 of the match in just the second period.

"The defense bent, but did not break," Phillips said.  "Our back line continues to develop and mature, and while it's not where we want it yet, those four guys continue to get better each and every game and make it very difficult to score."

While holding off the Bruins in the second half, the Flames took five additional shots, four of which were on goal with attempts from Aleksov, sophomore Jorge Alvarez and redshirt-sophomore Piotr Lagowski.  In the 71st minute, Fronimos shot a pass from Alvarez and senior Bob Novak past Rector to increase UIC’s lead to 2-0.  The goal marked Fronimos’ first as a Flame, while the assists to Alvarez and Novak are their third and second, respectively, of the season.

"Sometimes on a Sunday afternoon, on the road, on field turf and in 85 degree heat, with both games being afternoons, new, young players and teams have to dig in and dig deep to find a way to get to the result," Phillips added.  "You also need some fifth-year seniors providing some guidance, and I thought that was done very well today by Josh (Beard), Bob (Novak) and Alexios (Fronimos) on the key moments of getting the goals."

The Flames return to Chicago to host the UIC Soccer Classic at Flames Field on Friday and Sunday, Sept. 22.  UIC will take on Gonzaga at 7:30 p.m. CT Friday and IPFW at 2 p.m. Sunday, with IPFW facing Wisconsin at 5 p.m. Friday and Gonzaga going up against Wisconsin at 11 a.m. Sunday.