`Forty Flames to Follow' in 2013-14: Slobodan Aleksov
June 11, 2013
CHICAGO - Down the stretch of the 2012 campaign, UIC men's soccer midfielder Slobodan Aleksov proved to be one of the Horizon League's most dangerous offensive players. Heading into his senior season, the Flames' leading returning goal scorer will look to lead UIC back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. Aleksov is Tuesday's featured student-athlete in the "Forty Flames to Follow" in 2013-14 summer series.
Aleksov was inserted into head coach Sean Phillips' starting lineup on Oct. 10 against rival Loyola, and responded by scoring two goals, including the game-winner in just the seventh minute of the game. He scored his second game-winner in as many matches just three days later (Oct. 13), booting in UIC's second goal in a 3-1 road win at Drake. In the quarterfinal round of the Horizon League Tournament against Loyola, Aleksov scored the equalizer in an eventual 4-3 setback.
"Slobodan's play at the end of last season - 4 goals in the last 8 games - has raised his and our excitement and expectations for his contributions inside the lines next year," said Phillips. "When you combine his effectiveness last fall with his habits on and off the field, he is also evolving into a captain to whom the players and staff will look for tremendous leadership leading into and during his final campaign with us."
Aleksov started the final seven games of the season, and ended the campaign with eight points, the most among UIC's 13 returning letterwinners. He took 27 shots, including 10 shots-on-goal. For his performance against Loyola and Drake, he was tabbed the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week, while also collecting UICFlames.com Student-Athlete of the Week honors, on Oct. 15, 2012.
Aleksov, who was one-of-two Serbian players on the 2012 roster, is currently visiting home in Belgrade, Serbia for the first part of the summer while satisfying an internship at a local television station. The Communications major was presented the Colvin Communications Scholarship at last month's "Night of Champions" event that celebrates Academic Achievement. During his senior year, Aleksov will intern in UIC's Athletic Communications office.
Aleksov and the UIC men's soccer team will begin training for the 2013 campaign in mid-August. The Flames' first exhibition game is set for Monday, August 19 against Wisconsin at Flames Field.