Flames Defeat Drake to Claim UIC Soccer Classic Title
Sept. 18, 2011Ivan Stanisavljevic tallied a three-goal hat trick, including the game-winner with under 20 seconds remaining in double-overtime, lifting the UIC men's soccer team to a 3-2 win over Drake in the final game of the UIC Soccer Classic at Flames Field Sunday afternoon. With the victory, the Flames claimed the tournament title as the field's only team with back-to-back wins.
Stanisavljevic finished the two-game tournament with four goals and two assists, for a total of 10 points. UIC improved to 4-1-2 on the season, while Drake dropped to 4-3-1. Earlier in the day, Wisconsin and SIU-Edwardsville played to a 1-1 draw in double-overtime. The Badgers finished second in the tournament, while SIU-E was third. Drake dropped both games of the tourney, finishing fourth in the field.
"This was a great weekend for our program, especially coming off the type of season we had last year," said head coach Sean Phillips. "We won a few games early this season where we took the early lead, and were able to hold on. This weekend we had two performances in which we were forced to overcome some mistakes, and really showed our youth. Our senior leadership kept us focused and believing right up to the end of the game. We proved that with two overtime wins at home."
Stanisavljevic put UIC on the board 1-0 in the sixth minute (5:55), after capitalizing on a served ball from redshirt sophomore Phil Galounis, who was attacking from just inside the 18-yard box on the right wing. Stanisavljevic headed the ball over goalkeeper Rich Gallagher for his seventh point of the tournament.
Drake's Matt Kuhn then knotted the score at 1-1 with just under five minutes remaining (40:34) in the opening half. The unassisted tally to the near post beat UIC goalkeeper Piotr Kikolski from about 10 yards out.
A pair of penalty kicks in a 1:12 span near the end of the opening stanza tied the score at 2-2 heading into the locker room at halftime. Stanisavljevic beat Gallagher at the 42:55 mark, while Kuhn tallied his second goal of the game with just under two minutes remaining (43:43). Kikolski was handed a yellow card on the play, resulting in the attempted penalty kick.
In a downpour throughout the second half, the game remained scoreless, despite the Flames taking 13 shots in the second 45-minute period. Drake's Michael Noonan was given a red card in the 81st minute (80:37), giving the Flames a one-man advantage for the ensuing 22 minutes - but UIC's Paul Tracy was then handed a red card just over two minutes into the second overtime (102:51), setting up a 10-on-10 match-up down the stretch.
Stanisavljevic then put the finishing touches on the dramatic win, receiving the ball just outside the 18-yard box, and carved through one defender to beat Gallagher on the near post with just 18.6 seconds remaining in double-overtime. It marked the Flames' second-straight win in extra time, and the fourth time UIC has played in double-overtime this season - the Flames are unbeaten in those contests.
"Ivan's (Stanisavljevic) weekend was unbelievable," Phillips said. "He's really playing beyond our expectations. He's put in the work to be a great offensive player, and I expect him to continue to improve as this team grows throughout the rest of the season."
UIC will play one game this week, traveling to Dayton, Ohio to take on the Dayton Flyers on Friday (Sept. 23) beginning at 6 p.m. CST.
UIC SOCCER CLASSIC, PRESENTED BY THE CHICAGO SOUTH LOOP HOTEL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Ivan Stanisavljevic, UIC