Men's Soccer Heads To Elite Eight With 1-0 Win At Creighton
Dec. 1, 2007
Omaha, Neb. - The UIC men's soccer team's magical run through the postseason continued on Saturday night as sophomore Ian Sarachan's goal in the 74th minute pushed the Flames into the `Elite Eight' of the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 win over eighth-seeded Creighton at Morrison Stadium.
UIC (13-5-6), which is unbeaten in its last eight matches, now advances to meet the winner of tomorrow's tilt between Massachusetts and Central Connecticut State in the national quarterfinals with a trip to the College Cup on the line. The contest will take place on either Dec. 7, 8 or 9 with the site to be determined.
The Flames, who were making their second all-time `Sweet 16' appearance, have now beaten three consecutive nationally ranked opponents - #12 Saint Louis, #16 Northwestern and #7 Creighton - on the road to make their deepest ever postseason run.
UIC continued its defensive dominance against the Bluejays (12-3-5) on Saturday, allowing just one shot on goal in the contest en route to their 14th shutout of the season and seventh in their last eight matches. Keeper Jovan Bubonja made one save for his school record 12th shutout of the year.
After UIC just missed on a pair of prime scoring opportunities early in the second half, the Flames finally broke through in the 74th minute, capitalizing on a Creighton defensive miscue.
A Bluejay defender tried to head a long ball sent in by the Flames back to keeper Matt Allen. Allen was already en route to punch the ball away, though, and the ball went over his head towards the goal. Sarachan was right there to convert the opportunity, chasing down the loose ball and tucking it into the back of the net for his second marker in his many matches for UIC.
"Coming up I could tell the defender and the keeper didn't communicate," said Sarachan. "Sometimes it's about being in the right place at the right time and that was one of the easiest ones you'll score, but you'll take it."
The Bluejays tried desperately for the equalizer over the final 15 minutes and put the ball into the goal in the 87th minute, but the game-tying tally was disallowed as Chris Shuler collided with Bubonja to set up the marker.
The trip to the Elite Eight ties the deepest postseason run any UIC team has made. The Flames softball team advanced to the eight-team College World Series in 1994.