UIC Men's Soccer Earns Four All-Horizon League Nods
Nov. 5, 2012
CHICAGO - Senior Ivan Stanisavljevic and sophomore Jesus Torres were both named to the All-Horizon League First-Team, while junior Josh Beard and redshirt freshman Thomas Villamil earned Second-Team nods, as announced by the conference office in advance of this week's Horizon League Men's Soccer Championship.
"These individual accolades are certainly well-deserved, but I'm confident that each of the guys recognized today would tell you that without the help of their teammates, they wouldn't have received these honors and that the individual awards are recognition of the work put in on the training field and game field by each member of the team," said head coach Sean Phillips.
"We would like to congratulate Ivan, Jesus, Josh and Thomas on these recognitions, but we know our players; especially these four won't be satisfied until we accomplish our immediate team goal, which is to win against Loyola in the quarterfinal match tomorrow night."
Stanisavljevic was named to the League's First-Team for the second-consecutive season, while Torres collected his second all-conference honor after being selected to the All-Newcomer Team as a freshman in 2011. Beard also chalked up his second All-League plaudit, as he chalked up All-Newcomer honors in 2009. Villamil, in his first year starting along UIC's back line, was also named to this year's All-Newcomer squad along with collecting a Second-Team plaudit.
Stanisavljevic enters the postseason ranked second in the League in points with 21, bolstered by eight goals and five assists, the top mark in the Horizon League. The 2011 Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year, Stanisavljevic scored four goals in League play, including one goal in three-of the final four matches of the regular season. His converted penalty kick against top-seeded Detroit in the regular season finale gave him 62 points for his career. The Belgrade, Serbia native has racked up 47 points over the last two seasons.
Torres was the staple of UIC's midfield during the 2012 regular season. He tallied the game-winning assist against Loyola (10/10/12) and provided the helper in UIC's third score in a convincing 3-1 non-conference win at Drake on Oct. 13. Torres started all 16 games, and caused consistent pressure in the counter attack along the right side of the field. Over the past two seasons, the Windy City native has scored 13 points.
Beard made the switch from primary defender to midfielder this season in his junior campaign. The Schaumburg, Ill., native gave UIC a 3-0 lead early in the second half against rival Loyola, and also assisted on the equalizer in the 83rd minute of a 2-2 draw against IUPUI in the opener of the UIC Soccer Classic (Sept. 14).
Villamil has provided much-needed stability this season to a back line that lost a pair of All-Horizon League backs to graduation in 2011. The Niles, Ill., native started all 16 games alongside veteran defender Zach Kaleta, and helped anchor a back line that was instrumental in producing five shutout wins on the season, including two during Horizon League play.
Notably, the All-Horizon League Teams were also released by CollegeSportsMadness.com on Monday. Stanisavljevic was named to the First-Team, while Kaleta and freshman midfielder Joel Salmeron were both selected to the Second-Team. Kaleta has scored two goals and tallied one assist while serving as the veteran leader of UIC's back line, and Salmeron scored three goals during the regular season.
The Flames will begin the Horizon League Tournament by hosting cross-town rival Loyola in the quarterfinals Tuesday night (7 p.m.) at Flames Field. UIC will be hosting its first postseason game since 2008.