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    Soccer Battles Akron To 2-2 Draw

    Adnan Ejupovic scored in the second period against Akron on Sunday.
    Adnan Ejupovic scored in the second period against Akron on Sunday.
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    April 24, 2006

    Fort Wayne, Ind.- Goals from Pavle Dundjer and Adnan Ejupovic helped the UIC soccer team battle 2005 NCAA Elite Eight finisher Akron to a 2-2 tie at the Fort Wayne Sport Club on Sunday night.

    Dundjer struck first on a nifty shot that reached the back of the net and gave UIC an early 1-0 lead.

    The Zips, who finished the 2005 campaign at No. 1 in Soccer America's final regular season poll, countered with two straight scores in the second half before Ejupovic sent in the tying goal.

    Both teams battled to a deadlock the rest of the way, even though UIC posted some quality chances that included another excellent Dundjer shot attempt hitting the crossbar.

    "This was a high-level collegiate game in which I thought we did more than just compete," said UIC Head Coach John Trask. "We played some excellent soccer, and without a doubt Pavle Dundjer was the best player on the field."

    Trask discussed his team's stellar showing against another high-caliber program in the past year.

    "We have now played five top-20 teams this calendar year and have competed against all of them, only losing to two-time defending National Champion Indiana 2-1 in the preseason," said Trask, referring to his team's hard-fought match against the Hoosiers last fall that preceded victories against Top 25 foes Loyola Marymount and Creighton and draws against 2005 NCAA Tournament teams UW-Milwaukee and Akron.

    "The results against such competition speaks for where this program is now and that we will be a nationally-competitive program for years to come."

    Trask was appreciative for the chance to play one of last season's best teams amidst a stellar soccer atmosphere.

    "I would like to thank the Fort Wayne Sports Club for their hospitality and hosting this fine event," Trask said. "The work Chet Proegler and other members of the club put in was excellent and made for great environment for the players."

    With the spring schedule complete and summer training on the horizon, Trask is pleased with his team's efforts.

    "The continued development of existing players in all areas, from fitness and strength training to playing quicker and with more purpose, has impressed the whole coaching staff," said Trask.

    "The Akron game was a big test, having played the Chicago Fire on Friday and to hold up and actually outplay Akron for long periods is something for our players to take in to their summer preparation."