Men's Soccer Releases 2013 Schedule
May 29, 2013
CHICAGO- The 2013 UIC Men's Soccer schedule was released Wednesday, a slate that features 12 home dates, including the annual UIC Soccer Classic the third weekend of September. The Flames will also host Michigan State at Flames Field prior to the outset of Horizon League play in early October.
"This is a very exciting and challenging schedule for our players," said head coach Sean Phillips. "Our supporters will also be very excited to see the quality opponents coming to Flames Field this fall."
"We must continue to challenge ourselves in the non-conference portion of the schedule with top regional and national programs so that we are prepared to compete in the Horizon League and attain our goals of the Horizon League regular season title, Horizon League Tournament Championship and competing in the NCAA Tournament."
UIC will get used to the confines of Flames Field early in the season, with six home dates kicking off the schedule. The Flames will get things started by hosting a pair of exhibition games against Wisconsin and Northern Illinois on August 19 and August 24, respectively.
UIC will begin the regular season on Friday, August 30, when Eastern Illinois pays a visit to Flames Field. Two days later (Sunday, Sept. 1), the Flames will challenge visiting UC-Santa Barbara. The Gauchos won 10 matches in 2012, and are a perennial national contender, including the 2006 National Championship.
The Flames will host another two-game homestand the following weekend. On Friday, Sept. 6, DePaul will visit Flames Field, as will Western Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 8. The Flames and Blue Demons will be meeting for the third-straight season. WMU won 12 matches last season in the competitive Mid-American Conference.
UIC will play its first true road match on Friday, Sept. 13, when the Flames begin play in the Belmont University Invitational in Nashville, taking on the host Bruins. On Sunday, Sept. 15, UIC will face Lipscomb in a neutral site game at Belmont.
The annual UIC Soccer Classic will return to Flames Field the weekend of Sept. 20-22. Completing the field will be Wisconsin, Gonzaga and IPFW. On Friday, Wisconsin will face IPFW at 5:00 p.m. In the nightcap, UIC will entertain Gonzaga under the lights of Flames Field.
Sunday's doubleheader will feature Wisconsin taking on Gonzaga, followed by UIC challenging IPFW. The Flames captured the 2011 UIC Soccer Classic title, and tied for the tournament's best record (1-0-1) with Wisconsin last season.
UIC will play its non-conference road finale on Saturday, Sept. 28, when the Flames travel to SIU-Edwardsville. The Flames and Cougars will be playing for the fourth-consecutive season, with UIC having garnered the result in each of the past two meetings.
Defending Big Ten Conference Tournament Champion and NCAA Tournament participant Michigan State will visit Flames Field on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The Spartans edged visiting UIC, 2-1, on Sept. 27, 2011 in East Lansing.
UIC will kick off Horizon League play on Saturday, Oct. 5, when the Flames entertain Cleveland State at Flames Field. The following Saturday (Oct. 12), UIC will travel to reigning regular season champion Detroit.
The Flames will play two Horizon League home games in a four-day span beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 16, when Milwaukee visits Flames Field. On Saturday, Oct. 19, UIC will challenge visiting Wright State.
UIC will play its final two road games on Saturday, Oct. 26 and Wednesday, Oct. 30, when the Flames make respective trips to Valparaiso and Oakland, the Horizon League's newest member.
The Flames will wrap up the regular season by hosting a pair of afternoon weekend matches at Flames Field. On Sunday, Nov. 3, Drake will make the trip to the Windy City for the non-conference finale for both teams. On Saturday, Nov. 9, UIC will host Green Bay in the Horizon League regular season finale.
The 2013 Horizon League Championship will begin on Tuesday, Nov. 12, with first-round playoff games begin held at the higher seeds' home site. The HL Semifinals will take place on Friday, Nov. 15 at the site of the League's regular season champion, as will be the championship game, on Sunday, Nov. 17.
UIC's third-place Horizon League regular season finish in 2012 was its best since the 2008 season. The Flames are set to return 13 letterwinners from last season, including six players that tallied three or more points. Highlighting the returnees are All-Horizon League honorees Jesus Torres, Thomas Villamil and Josh Beard.