Oct. 5, 2013
CHICAGO – The UIC men’s soccer team completed its sixth shutout of the season as it defeated Cleveland State, 1-0, in its first Horizon League match of the season Saturday afternoon. Senior Bob Novak scored in the 19th minute with the lone goal of the game.
The Flames improve to 7-3-0 on the season, with a 1-0-0 record in the Horizon League, while the Vikings drop to 3-8-0, 0-2-0 HL.
"It was great to get that result and get those three points because this is the start of the second season," head coach Sean Phillips said. "Our non-conference was a good opportunity for our guys to develop and some of those developments in players, individually and collectively, showed today."
"For our group to come up a little short on Tuesday against Michigan State and come back and get the result in 80 degree heat, with 80% humidity, on a heavy field against a championship level team is tremendous,” added Phillips. “Our guys were solid today in all areas of the game."
The physicality of the game was evident, but UIC started to create chances early on with attempts by sophomore Kyle Lindberg and freshman Joel Leon. After receiving a yellow card, Novak came back to score less than a minute later in the 19th minute off a setup by junior Jesus Torres. The next shot for UIC came again from Novak, but just missed the net and hit the post.
The Flames fired off three additional shots in the second half by redshirt-sophomore Marcin Modzelewski, freshman Rodrigo Salgado and Torres, with Modzelewski’s shot being saved by several Vikings in front of the net and Salgado’s hitting the crossbar. The Flames held a 7-5 shot advantage and went 3-3 with the Vikings in shots on goal, while the teams finished the game with a combined 33 fouls, 16 and 17, respectively.
"Cleveland State is very good possession wise and they threw a lot of numbers forward in the second half by changing some players around and putting players in different spots, and our guys responded and did very well."
Freshman goalkeeper Andrew Putna made three saves in the game, with two coming back-to-back at the start of the second half. Putna recorded the shutout for his sixth of the season and improved his GAA to 0.80, while Cleveland State’s freshman goalkeeper Nick Ciraldo made just one save and dropped his record to 1-4-0.
"Our goalkeeper had to make one good save, our back line covered for us once or twice and really absorbed pressure well, and we were much better on set pieces today, all things that you're going to need to have over the course of the seven conference games, and our couple non-conference games, to get to where we want to be at the end of the year."
UIC is back at Flames Field on Tuesday, when it hosts Eastern Illinois in a make-up match from earlier in the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.