Flames Shutout Valparaiso 1-0; Remain Unbeaten in HL Play
Sept. 29, 2012
Isai Lemus scored his first-career goal on a cross from classmate Ivan Stanisavljevic in the 67th minute, leading the UIC men's soccer team to a 1-0 shutout win over Valparaiso at Flames Field Saturday night. With the victory, the Flames remained unbeaten in Horizon League play.
With the result, UIC improved to 4-4-2 overall, with an unblemished 1-0-1 mark in Horizon League play. Valpo, the League's defending regular season champion, dropped to 1-6-2 (0-1-1 Horizon). UIC is now unbeaten in its last five contests, dating back to Sept. 14 versus IUPUI. With redshirt freshman goalkeeper Goran Ikic making his second-straight start, the Flames also recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since October 2010, when UIC blanked Milwaukee (10/23/10) and Eastern Illinois (10/27/10) in consecutive home matches.
"Tonight was definitely a tale of two halves," said head coach Sean Phillips. "We struggled to get going early on, but I felt like if we could get to halftime and make a few adjustments, we could find a way to get a result. The flow of the game went back our way in the second half, and it was great to see Isai (Lemus) get rewarded tonight. He's been playing very well the last few games."
Lemus' goal came on an attack that started on the right side of the field. The ball was eventually fielded by Stanisavljevic wide on the left side - he then beat his defender, crossed the ball into the box, and Lemus finished a touch play to the near post. Lemus became the fifth UIC player this season to score a goal, while Stanisavljevic picked up his 11th point of the season with the credited assist.
Valpo held a 12-9 edge in shots, but UIC attempted eight corner kicks, while the Crusaders took just two. Ikic made four saves for the second-straight game. There were a combined 36 fouls called in the match, and a pair of yellow cards were handed out, one for each team.
UIC will take on Milwaukee in a Horizon League match next Saturday (10/6/12) at Engelmann Field. The Panthers settled for a 1-1 draw in their League opener Saturday night. Milwaukee will travel to Green Bay for a midweek contest on Wednesday.