UIC Soccer Breaks Into NSCAA National Rankings At 24th
Oct. 15, 2001
CHICAGO - The UIC soccer team has earned its first-ever regular-season national ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll today as the Flames came in at 24th.
UIC, which is 8-0-1 in its last nine games, finished the 2000 campaign ranked 21st in the country in the NSCAA and earned the same spot at 21st in the association's 2001 preseason poll, but has never been ranked during the regular-season.
The Flames also jumped up three spots to third in the NCAA's Midwest Regional rankings with wins last week over Northern Illinois, 1-0, and Cleveland State, 5-2. It is UIC's highest regional ranking ever. The Flames trail just Southern Methodist (11-0-1), which is ranked #1 in the country, and Saint Louis (9-0-0) in the regional standings.
"This is just tremendous," Head Coach Sasha Begovic, who celebrated a birthday on Sunday, said. "I think (the voting committee is) giving me a very nice birthday present. I never could've imagined this when the year started based on how many players we lost from last season. It's a testament to how hard our players have worked this year."
The Flames, who have won nine straight at home, will have their work cut out for them this week as they host a pair of Horizon League rivals in Butler and Wright State. UIC, which is 8-3-1 overall and 2-0-1 in league play, welcomes the Bulldogs to Flames Field on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 3:00 p.m. Butler is 5-6-1 for the year, but undefeated in Horizon League action with wins over Detroit, Cleveland State and UW-Green Bay.
On Sunday, Oct. 21, UIC hosts Wright State at 3:00 p.m. The Raiders are 8-4-1 overall and 2-1-0 in league play.
The Flames are joined in the NSCAA poll by fellow Horizon League member UW-Milwaukee, which is ranked 16th after moving up from 19th last week. UIC and the Panthers will meet on Saturday, Nov. 3, in Milwaukee.