Men's Soccer Begins Preseason Training
Aug. 10, 2012
CHICAGO - The 2012 UIC men's soccer team began its quest for a Horizon League Championship earlier this week, officially kicking off the preseason training regimen. The Flames will practice throughout the weekend and early next week, before playing their first exhibition game of the season next Tuesday at No. 12 Indiana.
The Flames will begin the regular season on a three-game road swing, officially opening the campaign at DePaul on Friday, Aug. 24. UIC's home opener is set for Friday, Sept. 7, when Georgetown pays a visit to Flames Field. Overall, the Flames' schedule features seven home matches, including the hosting of the annual UIC Soccer Classic presented by the Chicago South Loop Hotel, and a complete home-and-away Horizon League schedule that begins in late September.
UIC is set to return 13 letterwinners from last year's team, including seven players that saw significant time in the starting lineup. Head coach Sean Phillips and his staff will also welcome 11 newcomers to the mix - the incoming class features an NSCAA adidas High School All-American, an IHSA State Champion, two U.S. Developmental Academy National Champions, six 2011 IHSSCA All-State members and the 2011 IHSSCA Player of the Year.
Highlighting the returnees is senior Ivan Stanisavljevic, who claimed Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2011 after finishing the season as the League's leader in points (26), points per game (1.37), goals (10) and goals per game (0.53), while ranking second in assists (6) and shots (55). In all, the Flames return five players that found the back of the net at least once last season.
The junior class is also strong, with the return of goalkeeper Piotr Kikolski, Zach Kaleta, Phil Galounis and Ned Pavlovic, all of which logged significant time in the Flames' lineup last season. Sophomore frontrunner Jesus Torres, who was named to the Horizon League's All-Newcomer Team despite being limited to just 12 matches due to injury, also returns for his second season in a Flames uniform.