By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
CHICAGO, Ill. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay men’s soccer team rallied from a 1-0 deficit, but a goal by UIC in the 84th minute sealed the win for the Flames as they earned a 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon in Chicago.
With the win, UIC completed its conference season with a perfect 7-0 record while going 15-3 overall. The loss moved Green Bay to 7-7-3 overall and 2-4-1 in the Horizon League.
The Phoenix put three shots on the board in the first half, including two on goal. Sam Krenzien (Wauwatosa, Wis.) had his shot attempt saved by UIC’s Andrew Punta in the 14th minute. Audi Jepson (Green Bay, Wis.) also saw a shot stopped by Punta in the 35th minute and six minutes later had his shot attempt blocked to keep the Phoenix off the scoreboard.
Defensively the Phoenix stood strong against a Flames offense that put nine shots on the board in the opening stanza, while keeper Kyle Ihn (Wales, Wis.) came up with one save to keep the game scoreless going into the break. At intermission, the hosts led in shots, 9-3, and corners, 1-0.
The match remained scoreless until the 54th minute, when a goal by Joel Leon gave the Flames a 1-0 lead. Not ready to see the season end, the Phoenix turned up its offensive pressure and finally capitalized in the 79th minute. AJ Patterson netted his first goal of the season as his shot hit the crossbar and bounced in, evening the match at 1-1.
Two minutes later Krenzien had an opportunity to add one more for the Phoenix, but the UIC defense came up with a team save. It was the Flames who struck next as Jorge Alvarez collected a pass from Aris Zafeiratos and snuck it past Ihn in the 84th minute for the final 2-1 margin.
For the match, Green Bay led in corner kicks, 3-1, and shots on goal, 4-3, while the Flames led overall shots, 13-8.
The Phoenix will now have to wait until the conclusion of the Detroit at Valparaiso match later this evening to learn its fate in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament. If Valparaiso wins, Green Bay will be eliminated from the tournament, but if the Crusaders lose or draw, the Phoenix will make it to the postseason tourney.
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