UIC men’s soccer grinds out win against rival DePaul
UIC men’s soccer gets its conference schedule underway this weekend after a 1-0 victory Thursday over DePaul. Sunday’s match against Green Bay begins at 1 p.m. at Flames Field.
“I can’t think of a better type of win to get going into Horizon League play that starts on Sunday,” said head coach Sean Phillips.
“The Horizon League games are all rivalry games and they’re very tough.”
Sasha Simon scored his first goal of the season in the 84th minute (3-2-1) against DePaul (1-5-0) in the game at Wish Field. Andrew Putna and Jorge Alvarez assisted on the goal, with Putna sending in a long ball that connected with Alvarez, who dished the ball off to Simon.
“It was a very typical rivalry game between DePaul and UIC,” head coach Sean Phillips said. “There was very small margin of error and we both had some opportunities to make plays. Our bench, which has done it all year, came through. One of our reserves came in and made a big difference, he put his body on the line and scored a goal.”
It was a fight from start to finish for both teams with 40 fouls and nine yellow card cautions. The Flames’ defensive efforts broke the Blue Demons’ run of play, holding them to two shots in a game.
“The defense held fast. DePaul has some very talented attacking players and I thought our guys did a good job of limiting their really good chances,” Phillips said.
The first half presented an even match. UIC began to take over in the second half and had its first three shots from Jose Fuentes, Joel Leon and Abel Guzman come just off target. (Marco) Alvarez forced the second save of the game in the 77th minute after dodging a defender and being stopped point blank. Manny Chavez put the next shot high over the crossbar.
The Flames continued to press on, and it paid off in the 84th minute. Gonzalo Romo set up Putna to send the ball down the field to (Jorge) Alvarez, who passed the ball off toward the goal. Simon came up to connect on the ball and score as the Blue Demons’ goalkeeper was caught coming out of his net.