No. 10 Men's Soccer Overwhelms Cleveland State, 5-0
Sept. 26, 2008
Chicago, Ill.- The 10th-ranked UIC men's soccer team opened its Horizon League slate in dominating fashion by defeating Cleveland State, 5-0, at Flames Field on Friday night.
Baggio Husidic scored twice to up his team-leading goal total to seven, and the unbeaten Flames (6-0-2, 1-0-0 Horizon League) added three goals in the final period to put the match out of reach for the visiting Vikings (1-5-2, 0-1-0 Horizon League).
The scoring opened in the 18th minute, when Kevin Stoll served in a ball from the right wing that found Husidic, who banged it into the net.
It appeared that Husidic scored the game's third goal in the 50th minute after Stoll's beautiful heel ball at the top of the box found a sprinting Charlie Trout, who laced a pass to Husidic on the opposite side. Baggio banged the ball off the bottom of the crossbar for what seemed like a marker, but the subsequent conference between the officiating crew ended in a no-goal ruling.
That did not stop Husidic from registering his first career multi-goal game. A penalty kick was awarded to the Flames after a takedown in the box during the 66th minute, and Husidic did the honors by easily converting the attempt.
Two more tallies were recorded in the match's final 10 minutes. Stevan Jovcic unleashed a laser shot from 25 yards out toward the target that was only stopped by net in the 81st minute, and four minutes later Dan Simek made a brilliant run towards the left wing from midfield that caught Viking keeper Nick Harpel playing too far away from goal and allowed Simek's high chip to bounce in without impediment.
"It wasn't going to be easy," said UIC head coach John Trask. "Cleveland State is a well-coached team and [head coach] Ali [Kazemaini] is doing a great job there. They came with a game plan, but the first goal by Baggio seemed to put them in a quandary, whether to come out of their game plan or change things.
"Once we go up two, they did some good stuff forward. Jovan [Bubonja] had to make a couple of decent saves, and then we get that third goal on the PK and the game opens up."
Trask applauded the entire team's effort, including the play he saw from veterans Simek and Jovcic and younger reserves such as Andreas Laxgang, Drew Wolfe, Alex Loncar, Joey Domenico, Derek Huffman and Taylor Kelliher, many of whom were making their first collegiate appearances at home.
"A great night for the whole program," Trask said. "As the coaching staff said to me, you have to be pretty proud because [the reserves] played just like the starters. It's the same type of football being played, and that's a compliment to my staff and the work they do. It's still the UIC quality, clever soccer we believe in and we'll go to our graves preaching.
"The foundation of the house is right; now how many floors are you going to add and how sweet is the penthouse going to be? That's the next step," said Trask. "I believe it starts with defense and it starts with discipline, and then you get to add layers and you get to bring more quality into it, and that's what we have, quite a bit of quality."
The Flames' head coach also recognized the spirit of the home fans.
"They're great fans, and they seem to be getting more vocal and more into this whole thing here."
The Flames have now won seven straight contests against Horizon League opponents dating back to last season.
UIC hosts Detroit at Flames Field this Sunday at 4 p.m.