Men's Soccer Moves Horizon League Opener To Noon

Freshman Andrew Putna
Freshman Andrew Putna

Oct. 4, 2013

CHICAGO - With inclement weather heading toward Chicago, the UIC men's soccer team has moved up its start time and will kick off its Horizon League schedule Saturday at noon CT, originally set for 7 p.m., as it takes on reigning conference champion Cleveland State at Flames Field.

The Flames are back home Saturday after suffering a 2-0 loss to No. 25 Michigan State on Oct. 1.  The loss was the first for the Flames since Sept. 6, ending a six-match win streak and five-consecutive shutouts.

Through its nine matches this season, UIC ranks third in points (43), goals (15) and assists (13) in the Horizon League, while it leads all teams with five shutouts.  Additionally, UIC is at second, behind Milwaukee, with fewest goals allowed at eight, after making just 19 saves.

The Flames are led individually by sophomore Jorge Alvarez, who holds fifth in points (10), sixth in goals (3) and second in assists (4) in the Horizon League.  Junior Jesus Torres also ranks in points at seventh (9), sixth in goals (3) and eighth in assists (3), with sophomore Kyle Lindberg sixth in goals (3) and senior Bob Novak second in assists (4), while senior Slobodan Aleksov ranks seventh in shots on goal with 10.

With freshman goalkeeper Andrew Putna playing in all nine matches, he has made 19 saves to rank seventh in the Horizon League, allowed eight goals in 810:00 minutes of play for a 0.89 GAA and fourth in the League, and his five shutouts puts him at the top of all conference contenders.

Cleveland State heads into Saturday night's match with a 3-7-0 record after losing its last three matches, including a Horizon League loss to Oakland on Sept. 28.  Of the nine goals scored this season, seven came from seniors, including Jordan Hart (3), Admir Suljevic (2), Zach Ellis-Hayden (1) and Aslinn Rodas (1), as well as goals by sophomore Cristian Arboleda (1) and freshman Nick Neumann (1).

The Vikings have had three goalkeepers play over the course of their 10 matches.  Freshman Nick Ciraldo has played four games, allowed five goals (1.25 GAA) and made 13 saves for a 1-3-0 record, junior Joe Kalt has also played four games, allowing seven goals (1.75 GAA) and making eight saves, and sophomore Austin Saini has been in net for two games while allowing four goals (1.89 GAA) and tallying 11 saves.

Over the past 10 seasons, UIC and Cleveland State have met 11 times in the regular and post season, with CSU holding a slight 4-3-4 edge over UIC.  The last time the Flames came out on top of the Vikings was in the 2008 season, when they took a dominant 5-0 win.

The Last Meeting
Cleveland State1
October 27, 2012
Cleveland, Ohio
Men's Soccer Comes up Short at Cleveland State, 1-0
The UIC men's soccer team out-shot host Cleveland State 9-3 on Saturday night, but the Vikings scored the game's lone goal in the 55th minute, leading to a 1-0 win over the Flames in a Horizon League match at Krenzler Field.