Flames outlast Western Michigan

Slobodan Aleksov

Slobodan Aleksov put UIC on the board Sunday against Western Michigan. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The soccer team came away with its first win of the season Sunday after taking out Western Michigan, 4-2, at Flames Field.

The Flames held the shot advantage the entire match and scored three goals in the second to come out on top of the Broncos.

With its first win, UIC moves to 1-2-0 on the season, as Western Michigan falls to 0-4-0.

“I think our guys deserve a lot of credit,” head coach Sean Phillips said.

“If you don’t bring the fight to the opponent and you don’t do the little things right, you’re not going to get results.

“The guys played within themselves, they didn’t make it complicated, they kept it simple, and we were able to defend better and score better.”

The Flames were dominant on the offensive side, holding a 15-4 shot advantage on the Broncos, who had just two shots in each half.

Senior Slobodan Aleksov put UIC on the board in the first with an unassisted strike in the 15th minute, but the Broncos came back with a goal to head into the half, tied at 1-1.

The Flames surged in the second period and never backed down from the Broncos. Junior Jesus Torres netted a pass from sophomore Jorge Alvarez to take the lead, 2-1, before Alvarez came in with a goal off an assist from Torres.

“What really created the offense was the advantage,” Phillips said.

“We had very good defensive pressure. It was a bit more direct, but it got some of our most dangerous attacking players into spots where they’re dangerous, and to our credit, they finished very well.”

With less than 10 minutes to play, Western Michigan’s Mayer was awarded a penalty kick and scored after a yellow card was given to freshman goalkeeper Andrew Putna, who had two saves on the day.

With the score at 3-2, Aleksov came back for the Flames and scored his second goal of the game to secure the win.

“This is a very good performance upon which to build,” Phillips said.

“Credit to some of our senior leadership, especially to Slobodan (Aleksov), who took a moment of adversity, turned around and put the fourth goal in.  We were able to give some guys rest and some guys opportunity, and that will create good selection challenges for our trip down to Nashville.”

Next up for the Flames is a trip to Nashville, Tenn., where they will compete at 3:30 Friday in the Belmont University Invitational against Lipscomb and against Belmont at 2:30 p.m, Sunday. Both matches will be held at Rose Park.

The Flames host the UIC Soccer Classic at Flames Field beginning Sept. 20.

 

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