Phoenix hosts UIC Tuesday in Horizon League Championship First Round
By: Jill Wunrow
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay (10-6-1, 5-3 HL) men's soccer team has achieved its first goal of the 2011 season, making the Horizon League Championship. Green Bay's next goal is winning its second championship in three seasons. The Phoenix earned the No. 4 seed in the six-team field and as a result will host No. 5 seed UIC (9-6-3, 3-4-1 HL) in the first round of the Horizon League Championship Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at Aldo Santaga Stadium.
Green Bay enters postseason play after a 1-0 overtime victory over regular season Horizon League Champion Valparaiso (9-6-4, 5-1-2 HL) Saturday. UIC punched its ticket to the championship with a 3-1 win over Milwaukee on the same day.
Since the last meeting between the Phoenix and the Flames, Green Bay has gone 6-2 while UIC has posted a 3-4-1 record.
LAST MEETING: The last time UIC and Green Bay met was during a regular season game Oct. 1 at Flames Field in Chicago. The Flames won the contest 3-1 as Phoenix goalkeeper Ryan Wehking (St. Louis, Mo.) was issued a red card in the opening minutes, leaving Green Bay to play a man down the remainder of the contest.
UIC's Ivan Stanisavljevic posted his second hat trick of the season in the win over the Phoenix while junior Andrew Stone (Green Bay, Wis.) scored his lone goal of the season in the contest.
SCOUTING REPORT: Green Bay's defense will look to stop UIC's Stanisavljevic and Eric Frazier. Stanisavljevic leads the flames and Horizon League with 10 goals, six assists and 26 points. Frazier has fired a league-high 53 shots and is second in the league in points (19) and third in goals (8).
Green Bay is being led in scoring by senior Tony Walls (Wauwatosa, Wis.) who has scored six goals for the Phoenix which is seventh-best among league players. Sophomore Sam Krenzien (Wauwatosa, Wis.) has been coming on strong lately for Green Bay as he has netted five goals, scoring a hat trick Oct. 26 against Detroit. Krenzien is tied for sixth in the league with 39 points. Alongside Stanisavljevic, Green Bay senior captain Stuart Grable (Neenah, Wis.) leads the league with six assists.
Both teams have posted four shutouts on the season. Wehking is fourth in the league with 63 saves while UIC goalkeeper Piotr Kikolski is third with 64. Wehking is third among league keepers with a Goals Against Average of 1.07 while Kikolski is fourth with a GAA of 1.11.
HORIZON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Tuesday's game will be the first appearance since 2009 for UIC in the Horizon League Championship. Green Bay has advanced to the championship game four of the last five seasons, winning the program's first title in 2009 and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The last time UIC and Green Bay met in the Horizon League Championship was in the quarterfinals in the 2005 tournament. No. 6 seed Green Bay shut out No. 3 seed UIC 3-0 to advance to the semifinals.
Horizon League Final Standings:
1. Valparaiso (9-6-4, 5-1-2 HL)
2. Wright State (10-6-2, 5-2-1 HL)
3. Cleveland State (9-8-1, 5-2-1 HL)
4. Green Bay (10-6-1, 5-3-0 HL)
5. UIC (9-6-3, 3-4-1 HL)
6. Loyola (5-11-1, 3-5-0 HL)
7. Milwaukee (6-10-2, 2-4-2 HL)
8. Butler (7-8-3, 2-4-2 HL)
9. Detroit (5-12-1, 1-6-1 HL)
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: No. 6 Loyola plays at No. 3 Cleveland State in Tuesday's first round. The semifinals and championship game will be hosted by No. 1 seed Valparaiso on Nov. 11 and 13.
The winner of the Cleveland State/Loyola game will face No. 2 seed Wright State at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11 while the winner of Green Bay/UIC will battle No. 1 seed Valparaiso at 7 p.m. Nov. 11.
The championship game will kick off at 1 p.m. on Nov. 13.
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Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix.Kris Kelderman's toughts on Tuesday's first round game.