Flames Prepare To Host UIC Soccer Classic|
Sept. 19, 2013
Heading into this weekend’s competition, UIC (3-2-0) is coming off of two shutout wins against Lipscomb (Sept. 13) and Belmont (Sept. 15). The Flames defeated the Bison, 2-0, before taking out the Bruins, 2-0, as well.
"I think the best thing about the two shutout wins is our continued focus on our habits getting better, doing a lot of the little things right, and the younger guys starting to take pride in their defending," Phillips added. "We had another good week of training and we are starting to get a little bit healthier. Our habits continue to get better, they're not where they need to be yet, but they are definitely going in the right direction, and that's what we're going to need to do to carry the momentum."
Over the course of the two games at the Belmont Invitational, four different Flames got on the board as sophomores Jorge Alvarez (1) and Kyle Lindberg (1) and seniors Josh Beard (1) and Alexios Fronimos (1) scored for UIC, with Alvarez and Beard taking the game winners. The Flames were able to attempt 18 shots, including 11 on goal, as they limited Lipscomb to a game-total four shots and Belmont to 14, with not shots taken in the first half.
Freshman goalkeeper Andrew Putna had to make only two saves, one in each game, to secure the pair of wins. Putna was later named to the Belmont Invitational All-Tournament team, alongside Alvarez, Beard and, fellow freshman, Gonzalo Romo.
"The nice thing for our team this year is that our depth is starting to show," head coach Sean Phillips said. "Through last weekend, we have had goals scored by six different players, and we used a number of players in different places and asked a lot of young guys to step in. As we start to return some of our more experienced players from injury, I think our depth is going to help us quite a bit.”
The Flames first opponent of the weekend is Gonzaga, who is 3-1-0 this season. The Bulldogs have collected their wins during their last three games against No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and UNLV, with all three matches being shutout wins.
Gonzaga’s five goals on the season were scored by five different players, senior Alec Cutter and juniors Ben Striar, Clark Phillips, Lars Ludwigs and Zach Hamer, as the team has collectively made 42 shot attempts. Senior goalkeeper Ryan Caballero has played in all four games, made 17 saves and allowed one goal for a GAA of 0.24.
IPFW enters into competition with a 0-5-1 record after ending its first match of the season in a tie with Northern Kentucky and then falling to Dayton, Loyola, Kentucky, St. Francis and Marshall. Prior to their match with the Flames, the Mastodons are set to challenge Wisconsin on Friday.
Leading the Mastodons in goals this season are freshmen Jacob Murphy (2), Oscar Uyamadu (2) and Stephen Danielian (1). IPFW has combined for 50 shot attempts, 22 of which were on goal. Redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Raphael Kotzock has played most of the minutes for the Mastodons, while making 28 saves and averaging 2.49 goals against.
In addition to Gonzaga’s and IPFW’s games with the Flames, they are also scheduled to face Wisconsin, an opponent UIC defeated in exhibition. The Mastodons will take on the Badgers at 5 p.m. Friday, while the Bulldogs face-off at 11 a.m. Sunday.