Men's Soccer Completes Spring By Winning Inaugural Chicago Cup
April 25, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill.- The UIC men's soccer team concluded the 2010 spring exhibition campaign by capturing the inaugural Chicago Cup hosted by Northwestern at Lakeside Field on Sunday.
UIC, Northwestern, Loyola and DePaul gathered for the Second City friendlies, which were comprised of games split into two 30-minute periods.
The Flames defeated the host Wildcats, 3-0, in the day's soggy opener. Ivan Stanisavljevic scored in the first half, and Ned Pavlovic and Josh Beard tallied second-half markers to cement the contest amidst a downpour of rain throughout the game.
After Loyola scored a 2-1 victory over DePaul and a scoreless consolation competition between the Blue Demons and the Wildcats, the Windy City derby between Horizon League rivals was set for the day's championship match.
As has been the case when the two sides meet during the regular season, the Flames and the Ramblers engaged in a gritty entanglement that was engrained in defensive intensity.
Halfway through the second segment, UIC struck with the decisive goal. Joe Radice and Beard combined to navigate an attack that created a quality opportunity for the rookie Pavlovic, who knocked a fine feed into the net.
Goalkeeper Steve Purdy and the UIC defense did the rest, finishing off a third consecutive clean sheet to claim the cup.
"The team continues to hold things together on defense," said UIC head coach Sean Phillips. "Against Northwestern, we showed we are starting to learn each other's strengths in the attack.
"We knew going into the Loyola match that it was going to be a tightly-contested city derby atmosphere against a conference rival, and that's exactly what it was," said Phillips. "Compliments go to our players for finding a way with adverse weather conditions and a unique tournament structure.
"We thank Northwestern for organizing this great event," Phillips said. "We look forward to making this an annual event and defending the Chicago Cup next spring."
With Sunday's two victories, the Flames completed the spring with a 3-0-1 record in their final four contests.
"We're very happy with how the spring ended," said Phillips. "Compliments to the players for getting through a unique set of challenges this spring, from a new head coach and new staff to new roles and added responsibilities for a new core of players. The players must be commended for putting in the work."
UIC completed its opening spring under first-year head coach Phillips, who served as the Flames' top assistant the past five years before he was elevated to lead the program earlier this year.
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