Stanisavljevic Named Offensive Player of the Year; Flames Head to Green Bay
Nov. 7, 2011
CHICAGO -UIC junior men's soccer player Ivan Stanisavljevic has been tabbed the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year, league officials announced from its Indianapolis headquarters Monday afternoon. Additionally, seniors Eric Frazier and Paul Tracy were named First and Second-Team All-League, respectively, while freshman frontrunner Jesus Torres collected All-Newcomer Team honors.
"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," said head men's soccer coach Sean Phillips. "While we would like to congratulate Ivan, Eric, Paul and Jesus on these recognitions, we know our players; especially these four won't be satisfied until we accomplish our team goal, which is to win a Horizon League championship this week."
Stanisavljevic enters this week's Horizon League Tournament as the league leader in points (26), points per game (1.44), goals (10), goals per game (0.56) and assists (6), while ranking second in shots (48). Stanisavljevic is also third in shots per game (2.67) and assists per game (0.33) and fourth in game-winning goals (3).
Five of Stanisavljevic's goals occurred during Horizon League play, good for second in the league - he compiled a total of 11 points during conference games. Stanisavljevic was named the "Top Drawer Soccer" and SoccerSavings.com/Soccer News National Player of the Week, and the Horizon League Player of the Week on Sept. 19, after scoring four goals and tallying two assists in the UIC Soccer Classic at Flames Field.
Stanisavljevic also chalked up Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week and Horizon League Player of the Week honors on Oct. 3, after collecting his second hat trick of the season with three goals against visiting Green Bay (10/1/11).
"Ivan came into this season incredibly fit and hungry after a tough sophomore season," Phillips said. "The most unnoticed thing about his offensive production this year has been the defensive work he put in to help win the ball back on each of those goals or assists. His ability to defend and then transition into the attack has been a great addition to the team this season. We hope the tremendous amount of work he put in over the spring and summer continues to pay off for us a little while longer."
During the regular season, Frazier led the Horizon League in shots (53), shots per game (3.53) and game-winning goals (4) while ranking second behind Stanisavljevic in total points (19). In Horizon League play, Frazier took a league-high 28 shots, while dishing out three assists, good for second in the conference. He was named the Horizon League Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Sept. 5, after scoring a combined three goals in leading the Flames to a 2-0 shutout over DePaul (9/1/11), and a 1-1 tie against then-unbeaten UAB (9/4/11).
"Eric is a goal scorer, and he's proven that time and again this season in key moments," said Phillips. "Coming into the Horizon League portion of the schedule he began to draw some extra attention in double and triple teams. His ability to pass guys into goal scoring opportunities resulted in his three assists in League play. Eric has played a big part in our team's offensive output this season. We are looking forward to him playing a big role in continuing his senior season."
Tracy anchored a back line that preserved three shutouts, and allowed just one goal on eight other occasions. For the second-consecutive season, Tracy started every game he played in. A co-captain alongside classmate Drew Wolfe, Tracy is often called upon to contain the opposing team's most versatile offensive player.
"Paul has been a quintessential team player since he has arrived at UIC," Phillips said. "Last year we asked him to play in a number of positions. This year, while having played a majority of his career in an attacking role, he embraced playing wing back for us and has quietly helped our team defense steadily improve over the course of the season. His quiet consistency and leadership has been great for us this year."
Torres started 10-of the 12 matches he played in, including the first nine games of the season. He assisted on Joe Radice's goal in the season opener against Marquette (8/27/11), scored twice in the Flames' double-overtime win over SIU-Edwardsville (9/16/11), and tallied UIC's lone goal at Michigan State (9/27/11). He saw limited action in Horizon League play due to an ongoing hamstring injury.
"Jesus was an outstanding young player for us when he was in the lineup this season," said Phillips. "Unfortunately, his impact was limited this season due to injury. His quality was realized despite not playing in many Horizon League matches, and that's why he garnered this recognition. Jesus was a great youth player in Chicago, and we are fortunate to have him as a part of our team for the next three years. He is only going to get better and continue to prove the Horizon League is a place where young talent can develop."
UIC will enter the Horizon League Tournament as the No. 5 seed, and take on fourth-seeded Green Bay Tuesday (Nov. 8) beginning at 7 p.m. CST at Aldo Santaga Stadium. The Flames recorded a 3-1 win over the Phoenix at Flames Field on Oct. 1 behind Stanisavljevic's second hat trick of the season. Green Bay's Andrew Stone scored his first goal of the season in the 74th minute (73:02). UIC has won eight-of the last 12 meetings against Green Bay.
The Phoenix's Tony Walls was named the Horizon League Player of the Year Monday. Walls scored six goals during the regular season, as Green Bay ended the campaign by winning six-of-seven matches. Green Bay has suffered just one Horizon League defeat since falling to the Flames.
UIC will be making its 14th Horizon League Tournament appearance in the past 15 seasons. The Flames have taken on Green Bay five times during postseason play, going 4-1 in those contests. UIC defeated the Phoenix 3-1 in the 2007 Horizon League Championship game, en route to an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Flames have captured three Horizon League titles since 2000.