By: Jill Wunrow
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay (11-6-1, 5-3-0 HL) men's soccer team advanced to Friday's semifinal round of the Horizon League Championship with a 2-0 win over No. 5 seed UIC (9-7-3, 3-4-1 HL) Tuesday at Aldo Santaga Stadium. It was the fifth shutout of the season for the Phoenix who is the No. 4 seed in the tournament.
"We are not only excited about being in the final four, we're probably more excited about how we've been playing," said first year head coach Kris Kelderman. "We feel we're playing the best soccer that we have all year and it's at the right time."
Sophomore Lawrence Talery (Coon Rapids, Minn.) had two assists as Green Bay controlled the majority of the contest outshooting UIC 20-8.
"Larry is very dangerous but the most challenging thing for him all season has been making sure his final pass or shot is solid," Kelderman said. "Tonight he was able to gather two assists because his final pass was a good one where we could finish. It was good to not only see Larry be dangerous but really have something at the end of his play."
Green Bay took the 1-0 lead in the 38th minute when Stuart Grable (Neenah, Wis.) found Talery down the left side of the box. Talery connected with Luke Goodnetter (Elm Grove, Wis.) on the doorstep for his third goal of the season.
The Phoenix led 1-0 at the break, outshooting the Flames 13-1 in the opening half while both teams had two corner kicks each.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Talery's fancy footwork enabled him to beat his defender before feeding Sam Krenzien (Wauwatosa, Wis.) who netted his team-high sixth goal of the season.
Green Bay's defense played tough the entire contest as the Flames have two of the top three scorers in the league in Offensive Player of the Year Ivan Stanisavljevic and First Team All-League selection Eric Frazier.
"We have been emphasizing to our back group that if we are sound defensively we will get the result we want," said Kelderman. "Right now they are playing very well in the back and that's a huge part of our success."
Krenzien led the Phoenix with six shots while Goodnetter added five in the win. Both teams had three saves each as UIC won the corner kick battle 5-3.
Green Bay will head to Valparaiso for the remainder of the tournament as it faces No. 2 seed Wright State (10-6-2, 5-2-1 HL) Friday, Nov. 11 in the semifinals at 4 p.m. The evening semifinal contest will feature No. 6 seed Loyola (5-11-1, 3-5-0 HL) against No. 1 seed Valparaiso (9-6-4, 5-1-2 HL) at 7 p.m. Loyola advanced after upsetting No. 3 seed Cleveland State (9-8-1, 5-2-1 HL) in the first round.
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