Men's Soccer Treks to Drake for Non-Conference Showdown Saturday|
Oct. 12, 2012
CHICAGO - The UIC men's soccer team will take a break from Horizon League play Saturday, traveling to Des Moines, Iowa to take on Drake in a non-conference match beginning at 7 p.m. CST. The Flames will be seeking their third road win of the season.
"Drake will be another tremendous non-conference challenge," said head coach Sean Phillips. "They are a young and talented group of players who played eight of their first 10 games on the road and built quite a bit of strength within themselves. Their recent run of results, including a 0-0 draw with Creighton, is an example of what this group is capable of."
The Flames (5-5-2, 2-1-1 Horizon) are coming off a convincing 3-1 win over rival Loyola Wednesday night at Flames Field. Junior Slobodan Aleksov scored two goals in the first seven minutes of the game, and midfielder Josh Beard added his second-career goal early in the second half to propel UIC to its second Horizon League victory.
Senior midfielder Ivan Stanisavljevic, the Horizon League preseason Offensive Player of the Year, continues to lead the Flames offensively, with 13 total points (five goals, three assists) - he was tabbed the League's No. 1 player by Top Drawer Soccer in the publication's midseason report, released last Friday. Freshman midfielder Joel Salmeron has also chipped in a team second-best three goals, while Ned Pavlovic (2), Aleksov (2), Phil Galounis (1), Isai Lemus (1), Zach Kaleta (1) and Beard (1) have provided the remainder of UIC's goal scoring. The Flames have also seen nine different players tally assists on the season, while junior Piotr Kikolski and redshirt freshman Goran Ikic have shared the goalkeeper duties.
Drake (4-7-3, 1-0-1 MVC) is currently tied for second-place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings. The Bulldogs are being led offensively by Michael Thaden, who has scored a team-high four goals. Addison Eck has scored three goals to go along with a pair of assists, while four other players have scored at least one goal on the season. Rich Gallagher has started all 14 matches in goal for the Bulldogs, making 71 saves while posting a 1.52 goals-against-average.
In one of the most memorable matches of the 2011 season, UIC outlasted Drake in the finale of the UIC Soccer Classic (9/18/11) at Flames Field, 3-2. Stanisavljevic recorded a three-goal hat trick, including the game-winner with less than 20 seconds remaining in double-overtime. A pair of converted penalty kicks (one for each team) in a 1:12 span near the end of the opening stanza tied the score at 2-2 heading into the locker room at halftime.
In a second half downpour, the game remained scoreless throughout the remainder of regulation. After nearly 20 extra minutes of play, Stanisavljevic put the finishing touches on the dramatic win, receiving the ball just outside the 18-yard box, and carving through one defender to beat Gallagher on the near post with just 18.6 seconds remaining in double-overtime. It marked the first of Stanisavljevic's two hat tricks last season.
"Our game against Drake at Flames Field last year was a great 3-2 result in our favor, but it could have gone either way," Phillips said. "It was a great college soccer game, and I expect the same thing Saturday night on the road."