Men's Soccer Takes on Cleveland State in Road Finale Saturday Night|
Oct. 26, 2012
CHICAGO - The UIC men's soccer team will make the trek to northeast Ohio Saturday night (6 p.m. CST) to take on Cleveland State in a key Horizon League match. The Flames and Vikings enter the contest tied for second in the League standings with just two games remaining on the regular season slate.
UIC and CSU both own a 3-1-1 record in Horizon League matches, just two points behind first-place Detroit (4-1-0), who will host Loyola on Saturday. The regular season champion will host both the semifinals and championship match of the postseason Horizon League Tournament, Nov. 9 and Nov. 11. The top-two finishers in the regular season race will receive an automatic bye to the semifinals. UIC will entertain Detroit in the regular season finale next Friday (Nov. 2).
"Cleveland State plays a very attractive, entertaining brand of soccer that we enjoy competing against," said head coach Sean Phillips. "They have been one of our tougher opponents over the years, and have done a good job of making their home field a tough place to get a result. That's going to be our biggest challenge Saturday night, finding a way to get a result against a good team at a tough venue."
UIC is coming off a 2-0 shutout win at Green Bay last Saturday (Oct. 20), the Flames' fifth clean sheet of the season. Freshman Jorge Alvarez scored the eventual game-winner in the 35th minute, and senior Ivan Stanisavljevic scored his second goal in as many games in the 71st minute.
Stanisavljevic, the Horizon League preseason Offensive Player of the Year, continues to lead the Flames offensively, with 19 total points (seven goals, five assists). Junior Slobodan Aleksov and freshman midfielder Joel Salmeron have also chipped with three goals apiece, while Ned Pavlovic (2), junior defender Zach Kaleta (2), Phil Galounis (1), Isai Lemus (1), Josh Beard (1) and Alvarez (1) have provided the remainder of UIC's goal scoring. The Flames have also seen 11 different players tally assists on the season. Junior Piotr Kikolski has started 11 matches in goal, including the last three contests.
UIC (7-5-2, 3-1-1 Horizon) will ride a three-game winning streak into the Cleveland State match - the Flames have posted a record of 6-1-1 in their last eight contests. During that stretch, UIC has outscored its opponents by a margin of 13-5.
After falling behind by two goals in the first 12 minutes of the match, Cleveland State (8-5-2, 3-1-1 Horizon) rallied to snare a 3-2 overtime win over Loyola at Loyola Soccer Park Wednesday night. The Vikings are unbeaten in their last five matches, with four of those outings being extended to at least one overtime session. CSU's lone Horizon League loss was a 3-1 setback at Detroit on Sept. 22.
CSU has enjoyed a balanced offensive attack, with seven players scoring at least two goals on the season. Admir Sulevic has produced a team-high 11 points, with four goals and three assists. Mike Derezic has also scored four goals, while Cazz Warren has chipped in with three goals and three assists. Brad Stuver has started all 15 matches in goal for the Vikings, making 68 saves and producing a Horizon League second-best 0.95 goals-against-average.
Saturday's match will mark the 37th all-time meeting between UIC and Cleveland State. The Vikings own a 19-13-4 lead in the series, and have won the last two meetings, including a 2-1 result at Flames Field last season (10/14/11).
The game will be aired live on the Horizon League Network.