Men’s soccer loses lead in road match against SMU
The men’s soccer team (1-1-0) carried a 1-0 lead into the final 10 minutes of play, but Southern Methodist University (2-0-0) scored two goals in 70 seconds Sunday for the 2-1 win.
Max Todd scored for the Flames in the 71st minute for his first goal of the season.
“It was a gut-wrenching loss,” head coach Sean Phillips said. “We played so well in so many facets of the game to earn the 1-0 lead, but SMU is a very good team and they deserve credit for sticking with it, continuing to pressure, getting after it and earning the game-tying goal. We fell asleep there at the end and then SMU earned another corner kick goal and executed it great.”
The loss follows a 2-0 shutout victory against Bradley Friday in the season opener at Flames Field. UIC hosts Butler at 1 p.m. Saturday at Flames Field.
UIC produced 13 shots in Sunday’s match compared with SMU’s 16 and edged the Mustangs in shots on goal, 8-6. Todd led the Flames with five shots and three on goal. Jorge Alvarez connected for three attempts.
The Flames took the first two shots of the game, the first sent wide by Oscar Gonzalez and the second from Alvarez, earning a save in the eighth minute. UIC had three more shots taken by Alvarez, Todd and Gonzalez. SMU made six shot attempts in the half with one on goal.
The first three shots after halftime were saves by the goalkeepers, with Thomas Villamil getting the chance on goal for the Flames. Over the next 15 minutes, SMU had five shot attempts while Manny Chavez forced one shot on goal for UIC.
In the 71st minute, Todd came up to score to give the Flames a 1-0 lead on a cross by Abel Guzman. He followed his first of the season by registering UIC’s next two shots, with one on goal.
The Mustangs tied the game in the 83rd minute and quickly took the lead 70 seconds later.
“SMU is a very good team and I expect them to be in the top 25,” Phillips said. “It was a good experience we have to grow from to move forward. If we can play the way we did for 81 minutes for 90, I think this group of guys can put together some very good things going forward for this season.”
The Flames put the pressure on in the final minutes with shots taken by Todd, Villamil and Alvarez, but SMU’s goalkeeper made all three saves.
Andrew Putna played the full 90 minutes and made four saves, with three stops in the final 45 minutes.