Flames Travel to No. 23 SIU-Edwardsville for Midweek Contest|
Sept. 25, 2012
CHICAGO - The UIC men's soccer team will take a break from Horizon League play Wednesday, when the Flames travel to Edwardsville, Ill., to take on No. 23 SIU Edwardsville at Korte Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. CST. Against the Cougars, UIC will be playing its third non-conference opponent that is currently ranked in the College Soccer News Top-30.
"We have to continue to prepare ourselves for the very tough, very competitive Horizon League schedule, and this game against SIUE will definitely help us do that," said head coach Sean Phillips. "It's another opportunity for our guys to be challenged, and to see who responds best to those challenges against one of the better teams in our region and in the country.
"We've always had competitive games with SIUE - in 2010, it was a tale of two halves, and they were able to get the better of us. Last year in the UIC Soccer Classic, it was a great college soccer game, a bit like a heavy weight fight. They had a couple of chances to win the game, and our goalkeeper came up big. In overtime, we were fortunate enough to score the game-winner, and get the result. Both of those games were extremely competitive, and I expect more of the same tomorrow night."
The Flames (2-4-2, 0-0-1 Horizon) are coming off a 1-1, double-overtime draw at Wright State in the Horizon League opener last Saturday. Senior Ivan Stanisavljevic scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season, converting a penalty kick in the 32nd minute. Junior forward Ned Pavlovic and freshman midfielder Joel Salmeron have each added two goals to aid in UIC's offensive attack. Junior goalkeeper Piotr Kikolski has started all eight matches in between the posts.
SIUE enters Wednesday's match with a 7-2 record - the Cougars, members of the Missouri Valley Conference in men's soccer, are yet to play a conference game. Sophomore forward Christian Volesky has scored a team-high five goals, while senior frontrunner Peter Kelly has chipped in with three goals. Junior John Berner and freshman Kent Kobernus have shared the goalkeeper duties, with each posting a sub-par .06 goals-against-average.
Kelly and senior defender Benny Jeffery were named the respective MVC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week on Monday; Kelly scored both of the Cougars' game-winning goals against No. 20 Dayton (9/22/12) and Horizon League foe Green Bay (9/18/12).
SIUE is currently the third-ranked team in the NSCAA's Midwest Region, and received 29 votes in Tuesday's updated Top-25 poll. The Cougars are ranked 23rd in the College Soccer News Top-30 poll, which was released Monday.
The Flames recorded a 3-2, double-overtime win over SIUE during the UIC Soccer Classic at Flames Field last season (9/16/11). Sophomore Jesus Torres scored his first-two career goals in the game, while Stanisavljevic collected three points with one goal and a pair of assists. The Cougars jumped out to a 2-1 lead, but UIC tallied the equalizer early in the second half, and Torres scored the game-winner on a header with just over three minutes remaining in the second extra session.
UIC will play its Horizon League home opener on Saturday, when the Flames entertain defending Horizon League regular season champion Valparaiso at Flames Field.