Men's Soccer Travels to DePaul, Ohio State to Begin 2012 Campaign
Aug. 23, 2012
CHICAGO - The UIC men's soccer team will officially lift the lid on the 2012 season Friday, when the Flames travel north to Lincoln Park to take on DePaul at Wish Field beginning at 1 p.m. CST. The Flames will then hit the road to face Ohio State on Sunday, with kickoff set for 11 a.m.
The Flames went unbeaten during the exhibition portion of its season, earning a 1-1 draw at No. 12 Indiana on Aug. 14, followed by a 1-0 win over Lewis University at Flames Field last Saturday. Ivan Stanisavljevic scored UIC's goal against the Hoosiers, while newcomer Alexios Fronimos provided the game-winner versus Lewis.
"We were able to answer some questions that we had during training this week," said head coach Sean Phillips. "With the depth that we have, we wanted to narrow down which combinations of players we would use in order to get the results we are looking for on Friday and Sunday. We have two or three guys that can legitimately start in every position, so this week; it was a matter of figuring out which combinations of players could score goals to help us win games."
DePaul finished the preseason with a 1-1-1 record, tying Michigan (Aug. 15), dropping a 1-0 decision at Northern Illinois (Aug. 18) and defeating Milwaukee on Monday, 1-0. The Blue Demons return 22 letterwinners, including nine starters from last season's team, which finished the campaign with a 6-11-2 (3-5-1 BIG EAST) record.
Among DePaul's highlighted returnees is senior midfielder Antonio Aguilar, who tallied a team-high 18 points, including seven goals last season. Sophomore frontrunner David Salvaggi, who also scored seven goals in 2011, also returns to bolster the Blue Demons' offensive attack. Junior goalkeeper Eric Sorby, who started 13 contests last season, is also a notable returner.
The Flames defeated DePaul 2-0 at Toyota Park last season (9/1/11) behind a pair of goals from Eric Frazier - sophomore Jesus Torres assisted on one of the goals. Goalkeeper Piotr Kikolski played all 90 minutes, preserving his first shutout of the season.
Ohio State returns nine starters and 13 total letterwinners return from a year ago, including the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Chris Hegngi, who scored 33 percent of the team's goals. Ohio State finished the 2011 season with 10-7-2 overall record, and a 4-2-0 mark in the Big Ten, securing its seventh Top-2 conference finish in the last eight years. The Buckeyes went 1-0-1 in a pair of preseason exhibitions, knocking off Duquesne and battling Duke to a scoreless draw.
In the last meeting between UIC and Ohio State (10/13/10), the Flames recorded a 1-0 shutout over the then 16th-ranked Buckeyes at Flames Field. In fact, UIC has won two-straight over OSU, and is 3-1-1 all-time versus the Buckeyes. UIC recorded a 1-0 win over Ohio State in its last visit (10/14/09) to Columbus.