Detroit Outlasts Men's Soccer in Regular Season Finale, 2-1

Sophomore Jesus Torres
Sophomore Jesus Torres

Nov. 2, 2012

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CHICAGO- The UIC men's soccer team convincingly out-shot first-place Detroit 20-12, but Titan goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher turned away seven shots, and UDM eventually outlasted the Flames, 2-1 in the regular season finale for both teams at Flames Field Friday night. With the win, Detroit secured home field advantage throughout next week's postseason tournament.

With the setback, UIC moved to 7-7-2 on the season, finishing the Horizon League regular season with a 3-3-1 conference record. Detroit improved to 10-8-0 overall, and 6-1-0 in League play.

"First, we need to congratulate Detroit," said head coach Sean Phillips. "Their play tonight proved why they are the regular season champions of our League. Their goalkeeper was excellent; he was definitely the difference tonight. They are a very difficult team to break down, although I thought we broke them down several times. We defended very well, but unfortunately, this was the second game in a row that we've struggled to capitalize on some very good offensive opportunities. We need to bury those chances, and that will be the focus in training over the next few days."

Despite numerous offensive chances for both teams, none of the three combined goals came through the run of play.

After a scoreless first half, Detroit got on the scoreboard first on an own goal - the ball was deflected high off a UIC defender, and sneaked past UIC goalkeeper Piotr Kikolski in the 73rd minute (72:53). Just over three minutes later (76:00), the Titans committed a foul inside UIC's 18-yard box, leading to a converted penalty shot by senior midfielder Ivan Stanisavljevic. The equalizer marked Stanisavljevic's eighth goal of the season.

Detroit scored the game-winner in the 85th minute (84:10), when Horizon League leading scorer Adam Bedell also successfully converted a penalty kick - it represented his 11th goal of the season. UIC controlled the run of play for much of the second half, but saw Steinwascher turn away several quality scoring chances. Sophomore Jesus Torresand Stanisavljevic both had one-on-one opportunities with the keeper late in the second half, but Steinwascher made both saves to prevent the Flames from taking the lead.

Kikolski also made six saves, capitalizing on an aggressive defensive effort from his back line. Bedell took a team-high five shots, but was largely contained through the run of play thanks to the solid defensive play of back liners Zach Kaleta, Thomas Villamil and Colin Marz.

Stanisavljevic attempted a team-high five shots for UIC, including three on goal - Torres also took five shots, while Slobodan Aleksovattempted three. The Flames held a 9-4 advantage on corner kicks. There were a total of five yellow cards issued by the officiating crew, and Detroit's Matt Nedwicki was handed a red card after the final whistle.

UIC will now turn its attention to next week's Horizon League Tournament. The Flames will face an undetermined opponent in the quarterfinals next Tuesday (Nov. 6). Three more games will occupy the League's slate on Saturday's final day of the regular season, and the field/bracket for the postseason tournament will be released by the League office late Saturday night.