Flames Host Cleveland State Friday, Nebraska-Omaha Sunday Night
Oct. 13, 2011
CHICAGO -The UIC men's soccer team will look to remain unbeaten in Horizon League play Friday, when the Flames entertain Cleveland State under the lights of Flames Field beginning at 7 p.m. CST. UIC will also host Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday night (7 p.m.) in the Flames' non-conference finale.
"We are in the meat of the conference season now, and it is important for us to win our Horizon League games to set up for the conference tournament," said head coach Sean Phillips. "Our goal is to host and win the Horizon League Tournament. That being said, we are expecting a big challenge on Friday night; Cleveland State is going to come in here prepared, they will be very tactically aware of what we are trying to do, and they have quite a few talented players that are coming off of injury, and that will present some significant challenges for us."
The Flames (6-2-3, 1-0-1 Horizon) are coming off last Saturday's 0-0 tie in double overtime at Butler. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Piotr Kikolski recorded his second shutout of the season, preserving the Flames' unbeaten record in Horizon League play. UIC opened conference action with a 3-1 win over visiting Green Bay on Oct. 1.
UIC currently ranks sixth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Great Lakes region - the Flames are second in the Horizon League in points (53) and goals (20), while ranking third in both goals allowed (15) and goals against average (1.25).
Ivan Stanisavljevic has scored a league-best seven goals on the season, and also leads the Horizon League in points (19) and assists (5). Meanwhile, senior forward Eric Frazier is second in the conference in shots (3.71), points (2.00) and goals per game (0.75). The duo continues to rank first-and-second in the Horizon League in points, points per game, goals and goals per game. The Flames enter the fourth weekend of Horizon League play as one-of-two unbeaten squads, alongside league-leading Valparaiso, which sits 2-0-1 in conference matches.
Cleveland State (5-6-1, 2-1-1 Horizon) enters Friday's contest on a three-match winning streak, including a 4-0 win over Loyola on Oct. 8. The Vikings also defeated host Milwaukee, 3-2, on Oct. 1. CSU is being led in scoring by Admir Suljevic and Aaron Adkins, who have each scored five goals - Suljevic also boasts a team-high four assists. Between the posts, the Vikings are led by Brad Stuver, who has recorded a 1.41 GAA with 43 saves in his 11 appearances.
Nebraska-Omaha is in its first full season of Division I men's soccer - the Mavericks are being led offensively by Mo Salama and Logan Mendez, who have each scored one goal. UNO opened the season with a 2-1 win over UMKC, but has not scratched the victory column since.
"It's a great opportunity for college soccer; on the men's side, our sport doesn't get many opportunities to add programs," Phillips said. "So it's great to bring a new program into our facility, and play a team that will be on the rise very quickly."