`Forty Flames to Follow' in 2013-14: Josh Beard
June 12, 2013
CHICAGO - When it comes to versatility, Josh Beard from the UIC men's soccer team runs the gamut. The Schaumburg, Ill., native played on all three lines for the Flames last season, helping UIC finish third in the Horizon League's regular season race, its best finish since 2008. Beard is Wednesday's featured student-athlete in the "Forty Flames to Follow" in 2013-14 summer series.
Beard collected Second-Team All-Horizon League plaudits after proving to be a stabilizing force for head coach Sean Phillips as a defender, midfielder and frontrunner. He will be one-of-four seniors to suit up for the Flames in 2013.
"Josh will be a difference maker for us next year," said Phillips. "He returns to us with the most minutes played as well as an ability to make big impacts playing in any of the three lines."
Beard collected three points on the season, with one goal and one assist, and aided on a back line that produced five clean sheets in 2012. He scored UIC's third goal in a 3-1 win over rival Loyola (10/10/12) at Flames Field, and assisted on the equalizer in the Flames' come-from-behind, 2-2 draw against IUPUI (9/15/12) in the first-round of the UIC Soccer Classic. On the season, Beard took 19 shots, including seven shots on goal.
Beard, who played primarily along the back line in his first two seasons in a Flames uniform (2009 and 2011), was a Horizon League All-Newcomer Team selection at the conclusion of his freshman season.
Beard is on campus this summer taking classes toward completion of his Business Entrepreneurship degree. He tallied a 3.46 grade-point-average during the 2013 Spring Semester, and at the annual "Night of Champions" event, which celebrates Academic Achievement; Beard received the Port Center Academic Scholarship. The annual award recognizes a student-athlete that utilizes a large majority of his or her free time to fit in extra study hours at the Port Academic Center.
Beard and the UIC men's soccer team will open the 2013 regular season against Eastern Illinois on Aug. 30, part of a season-opening four-game homestand.