Flames Return Home to Collide with Valpo Saturday Night|
Sept. 28, 2012
CHICAGO - Fresh off a shutout over nationally-ranked SIU-Edwardsville, the UIC men's soccer team is set to resume Horizon League play Saturday, when the Flames host Valparaiso under the lights of Flames Field beginning at 7 p.m. CST. UIC is unbeaten in its last four contests, dating back to Sept. 14.
"Ever since Valparaiso joined the Horizon League, they have been a very difficult opponent for us to play against," said head coach Sean Phillips. "They are very well-coached and very well-organized, and have a far better team than their record indicates - they've played some very good competition, and had some bad luck go against them. It's going to be a challenge; our guys are going to have to play better than they did Wednesday night at SIUE to get the result on Saturday night."
The Flames (3-4-2, 0-0-1 Horizon) defeated SIU 1-0 Wednesday night, behind freshman Joel Salmeron's game-winning goal in the 84th minute. Senior midfielder Ivan Stanisavljevic continues to lead the Flames in scoring with four goals and a pair of assists. Salmeron has scored three goals, including two at Flames Field, while junior Ned Pavlovic has chipped in with two goals on the season.
Valpo (1-5-2, 0-0-1 Horizon) is winless in its last six games, but battled defending Horizon League Tournament Champion Loyola to a 0-0, double-overtime draw in last Saturday's (Sept. 22) League opener. The Crusaders are being led in scoring by Todd Vervynckt and Andy Lynn, who have each scored two goals and provided one assist on the season.
Jordan Aidoud, Jon Smith and Stipo Zeba have also chipped in one goal apiece. Kyle Zobeck and Tom Serratore have shared the Crusaders' goalkeeping duties, with each posting a goals-against-average below 0.85. Valparaiso was picked to finish third in the preseason Horizon League poll.
UIC owns a decisive 16-3-2 all-time series advantage over the Crusaders, but dropped a 1-0 overtime decision on the road at Valpo last season (10/29/11).