Men’s soccer shuts down Northern Kentucky

Max Todd; men's soccer

Max Todd scored one of UIC’s four goals against Northern Kentucky. Cheer on the Flames Saturday as they host Detroit at Flames Field.

The men’s soccer team turned out its third-straight win Saturday night in a 4-0 shutout versus Northern Kentucky at Flames Field.

Gonzalo Romo, Jose Fuentes, Kyle Hamann and Max Todd scored goals for UIC.

The Flames host Detroit in Horizon League play at 7 p.m. Saturday at Flames Field, then head to Evanston to face Northwestern at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Versus Northern Kentucky, the Flames (4-5-1, 3-1-0 HL) came up with 28 shots in the match, marking the highest total since 2006. Their 15 shots on goal were the most taken since 2014.

“It’s nice to get our third win in the Horizon League,” head coach Sean Phillips said. “That win will help us keep pace with our immediate goal, which is to contend for the Horizon League regular season championship. It was good for us to get a few goals in front of our fans that have stuck with us as we have gotten things going, but most importantly, we were able to get the shutout.”

Todd and Fuentes each notched career highs in shots and shots on goal, as they each posted three points. They made up more than half of the team’s attempts on target, with Hamann (2), Nestor Garcia (2), Romo, Mike Jimenez and Abel Guzman collecting the remaining seven.

Andrew Putna made two saves in his third shutout of the season to maintain a perfect 0.00 goals-against-average in league play.

“We’re starting to see some upperclassmen step up with Romo and Kyle scoring goals, Jose continuing to find form and Max picking up points for us,” Phillips said. “I think our back four are starting to get comfortable with each other and continue to show progress, with our two freshmen and sophomore on the back line, and Andrew kept another clean sheet for us, which is what he has done most of his career for us.”

Oscar Gonzalez took the ball down the right side in the 36th minute before finding Romo, who buried his first goal of the season.

The Flames continued to dominate into the second half, getting four quality looks in the opening 10 minutes. In the 58th minute, Dimitiris Strantzalis took a shot that was blocked, but the ball found the foot of Fuentes, who sent it in for his fourth goal of the season.

In the 68th minute, Todd’s corner kick connected with Hamann’s head to knock in his first collegiate goal.

A minute later, Todd ripped off a shot from 40 yards out off a pass from Fuentes that hooked into the back of the net for his fourth tally of the season.

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