Men's Soccer 'Sweet 16' Bound
Nov. 28, 2007
Evanston, Ill. - The UIC men's soccer team will play on in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, earning its way into the `Sweet 16' with a 2-0 victory at Northwestern on Wednesday night in front of a lively crowd of 1,023 at Lakeside Field.
Freshman Kevin Stoll headed in what proved to be the game winning goal in the 72nd minute off a corner kick. Sophomore Ian Sarachan then iced the victory by scoring on an empty net with eight seconds remaining.
"I have the utmost respect for the Northwestern program. They are a heck of a soccer team," UIC Head Coach John Trask said after the match. "Hat's off to my team. They are a feisty bunch. They don't like to lose.
"Some people might have thought early in the season that we weren't a special team," Trask continued. "I always knew we were a special team and I think that is coming to the forefront now."
The Flames (12-5-6) will make their second all-time appearance in the `Sweet 16' on Saturday night when they travel to take on Creighton at 7 p.m. The Bluejays advanced on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over SMU.
Northwestern, the No. 9 national seed in the tournament, finishes its season with a ledger of 12-5-3.
The Flames and Wildcats first-ever postseason derby was a battle of possession in the midfield for the first 45 minutes with UIC senior Pavle Dundjer's free kick from 30 yards out that deflected off the wall just wide of the goal the only real scoring threat mounted by either side.
Four minutes into the second half Flames back Pat McMahon outraced Northwestern's Piero Bellizi and saved what look like to be a sure Northwestern marker when he cleared a misplayed ball off the goal line that had skipped past keeper Jovan Bubonja.
UIC would make the most of its next opportunity in the 72nd minute when a trio of rookies turned a corner kick into a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Charlie Trout took the corner and bent the ball into the box where it found the head of Robert Younger, who redirected the ball toward the goal. Stoll stood his ground in traffic near the goal mouth and flicked the ball to the back post past NU keeper Misha Rosenthal.
For Stoll, the marker continued what has been a magical postseason run. He has now scored four goals on the year, all coming in the last five matches.
Northwestern pressed hard over the final 15 minutes to level the score, but was unable to break through past Bubonja, who totaled a pair of saves en route to his 11th clean sheet of the season.
The Wildcats' last gasp came with under a minute remaining when NU sent its entire eleven forward on a free kick attempt. The Flames quickly cleared the attempt to Sarachan, who broke free from the pack. The sophomore dribbled the ball down the field and tucked it into an empty net as the clock winded down for his first collegiate goal.
UIC is now 6-0-1 in its last seven matches, allowing just one goal during the stretch.