Men’s soccer fights to draw at Milwaukee

Joel Leon; soccer

Joel Leon scored a goal to tie the game Sunday versus Milwaukee. The Flames host Wright State Saturday at Flames Field. Photo: Steve Woltmann


The men’s soccer team (4-3-2, 1-0-1 Horizon League) battled for 110 minutes before its match against Milwaukee (2-4-2, 1-0-1 Horizon League) was decided in a 1-1 draw Sunday at Engelmann Stadium.

Up next for the Flames is a 1 p.m. Saturday match versus Wright State at Flames Field.

On Sunday, Joel Leon tied the game in the 55th minute of play on a header off a free kick by Manny Chavez.

Each team was down a man early in the second half after Gonzalo Romo was handed his second yellow card in the 52nd minute and another was issued to Milwaukee’s Declan Rodriguez four minutes later.

The Flames outshot the Panthers, 23-16. Eight players added to the shot total, led by Jorge Alvarez (6), Chavez (5) and Jose Fuentes (4). Six shots came on goal from Leon, Alvarez (2), Chavez, Romo and Kyle Hamann.

UIC took five quality shots in the first 25 minutes of play from Alvarez, Romo, Hamann, Fuentes and Leon. The Panthers took a shot in the 27th minute that put them up 1-0.

Mike Jimenez took UIC’s next attempt but it went wide. The Flames had three consecutive shots from Fuentes, Alvarez and Leon blocked in a 30-second span in the last five minutes of the half. UIC made the tie in the 55th minute as Leon connected with a header off a free kick by Chavez for his first goal of the season and second of his career.

Alvarez put the first shot on goal in overtime as his sixth shot of the night was stopped. UIC had four chances in the remaining 10 minutes of play from Chavez (2), Jimenez and Abel Guzman, with Chavez forcing a save in the 108th minute.

Goalkeeper Andrew Putna matched his career high with a season-high seven saves. The junior has 29 saves on the year and a 0.94 goals-against-average.

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