Sept. 22, 2013
CHICAGO - The UIC men's soccer team collected its fifth-consecutive win and fourth-straight shutout Sunday on the final day of the UIC Soccer Classic at Flames Field. The Flames defeated IPFW, 4-0, to claim first place at the tournament, while senior Bob Novak, junior Jesus Torres, redshirt-sophomore Thomas Villamil and freshman Andrew Putna were named to the All-Tournament team.
After winning its last five matches, UIC improves its record to 5-2-0 this season, as IPFW drops to 0-7-1. Having played seven games this season, the Flames' 5-2-0 mark is the best start since the 2008 campaign, when the team started with a 5-0-2 record and did not lose their first match until the 13th game of the season.
"It's great to get another win in front of our fans," head coach Sean Phillips said. "This weekend, we showed we were able to grind out a tough 1-0 result against Gonzaga and we were still able to get a shutout at 4-0 against IPFW and keep a clean sheet. The mistakes are getting fewer and fewer, and the positive play is getting more and more."
UIC had a strong offensive output from the start of the match. The first shot of the game for the Flames at 9:23 resulted in a goal by Torres off an assist from senior Slobodan Aleksov. Less than six minutes later, Novak started up the play with a pass to Torres, who connected with sophomore Kyle Lindberg for UIC's second goal. The Flames finished the half with five additional shots, one on goal shot by Torres that was saved by IPFW's redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Raphael Kotzock.
The Flames did not slow down heading into the second half, as Torres scored his second goal of the game in the 70th minute off of a Novak assist, and redshirt-freshman Alex Yeung collected his first goal as a Flame in the 81st minute. UIC added eight more shots in the half, while 10 different players made attempts throughout the game.
"We've been getting a lot from our wing players, just getting in from behind and out-running guys, and today we were able to pick up goals number two and three on quick restarts, which can add some variety to that attack," added Phillips. "I have a feeling our team, as the season goes on, is going to pick those up more and more."
UIC held IPFW to just two shots during the match, one in each half, while Putna did not need to make a save and improved his GAA to 0.86.
"We seem to be eliminating some of the silly goals we were giving away early in the year," Phillips said. "Now, hopefully, that's allowing us to continue to develop into a stronger defensive unit and a unit that's more difficult to play against. With two hard non-conference games left and then conference play, we want to be playing our best in all aspects of the game."
Next up for the Flames is a 7 p.m. CT match Saturday against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at Korte Stadium in Edwardsville, Ill.
2013 UIC Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team
Bob Novak (UIC)
Jesus Torres (UIC)
Thomas Villamil (UIC)
Andrew Putna (UIC)
Josh Phillips (Gonzaga)
Greg Carter (Gonzaga)
Lars Ludwigs (Gonzaga)
Nick Janus (Wisconsin)
AJ Cochran (Wisconsin)
Alex Kemp (IPFW)
Drake Bowers (IPFW)