Kaleta Named HL Defensive POW; Ikic Also Honored
Oct. 1, 2012
CHICAGO - Junior defender Zach Kaleta, the veteran anchor of UIC's young back line, was named the Horizon League Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, it was announced by the League office from its Indianapolis-based headquarters Monday. Additionally, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Goran Ikic was tabbed the League's Player of the Week by College Sports Madness, and chalked up a weekly honor from Chicagoland Soccer News.
The Flames shut-out both No. 23 SIU Edwardsville (9/26/12) and defending Horizon League regular season champion Valparaiso (9/29/12) last week - it marked the first time since the 2010 campaign that UIC accomplished that feat. The Flames are unbeaten in their last five contests, dating back to Sept. 14 vs. IUPUI - UIC has allowed just three goals in that stretch.
Kaleta (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) began the 2012 season as the only returning player on the back line, with the other three primary defenders being true or redshirt freshmen. Along with helping the Flames preserve the two shut-outs, Kaleta also single-handedly prevented a goal against the Crusaders, covering an open goal in the 35th minute, and deflecting a shot away on Valpo's best offensive chance of the first half.
"Zach has been a tremendous leader for the backline this year," said head coach Sean Phillips. "With three freshmen in the back four and the last two games a freshmen in goal, his leadership and experience has been tremendous as the new players gain the necessary experience to find ways to help us get results."
Ikic (Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina) started his first two-career matches last week, and earned the shut-out decision in each outing. He has made a total of eight saves in the past 180:00.
Kaleta's honor represents the Flames' second Horizon League Player of the Week award this season - senior midfielder Ivan Stanisavljevic was tabbed the League's Offensive Player of the Week on Aug. 27.
UIC (4-4-2, 1-0-1 Horizon) is currently tied for second-place in the Horizon League standings - the Flames will take on Milwaukee at Engelmann Field Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m. CST.