Soccer Blanks UW-Milwaukee, 1-0|
Oct. 10, 2004
Chicago, Ill.- With the defending Horizon League champions in town, the UIC soccer team needed to play its best match of the year.
That's exactly what Flames fans saw on Sunday, as UIC held preseason league favorite UW-Milwaukee scoreless and used a Pavle Dundjer goal to get past the Panthers, 1-0, at Flames Field.
UIC's win marked the end of the longest conference unbeaten streak in Horizon League history, as the Panthers had gone 23-0-2 in its last 25 league matches over the past four years.
The young Flames (3-8-1, 2-2-1 Horizon League) pulled off the upset over the veteran Panthers (3-4-3, 1-1-0 Horizon League) with a staunch overall effort, particularly on defense.
"It was an outstanding team performance," said UIC Head Coach Sasha Begovic. "They left everything on the field. This [performance] showed we can play with the best in the league."
"We needed it. It's great for us."
Sunday's game marked the first shutout of the season for the Flames, as well as rookie goalkeeper Jeff Engelbrecht's first career shutout.
The first period was a defensive struggle, as each team found it difficult to manage quality shots.
After halftime, the pace picked up as each squad tried to get on the board. It didn't happen until the 61st minute, when Dundjer took possession of the ball and sprinted past two UW-Milwaukee defenders. The hustle play set up Dundjer's one-on-one opportunity against Panthers keeper Eric Mickschl, and the freshman converted on a quick strike from almost 20 yards out on the left side to give the Flames the lead.
Dundjer now has three goals on the season, tied for the team lead.
UW-Milwaukee was able to get the ball deep into UIC territory many times after the Dundjer score, but the Flames defense was magnificent, challenging every attacker and making the Panthers take tough shots.
UIC had a chance to increase the lead with eight minutes left, as Pawel Otachel stole a ball at midfield and rushed up the middle towards Mickschl. Otachel went left and fired a laser, but Mickschl made a solid save to keep the Panther's deficit at one goal.
Engelbrecht made four strong stops, while Mickschl finished with three saves.
The victory marked the first time the Flames have beaten the Panthers since 2000. It was also only the second time that the Panthers have been shutout this season.
UIC continues its homestand this Wednesday with a non-conference match against UMKC at Flames Field beginning at 3 p.m.