MACOMB, Ill. - The Western Illinois men's soccer team travels to Chicago this weekend to participate in the Chicago South Loop Hotel UIC Soccer Classic.
The Fighting Leathernecks are set to take on Big Ten opponent Wisconsin on Friday at 5 p.m. before playing host school UIC on Sunday at 2 p.m. Fellow Summit League member IUPUI will also be participating in the tournament.
After dropping a 3-0 decision to No. 20 Marquette, the Leathernecks are looking to return to the win column in advance of Summit League play.
Following this weekend, Western Illinois will return home for the squad's first home game in almost a month to open conference action against Omaha on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m.
WHAT: Chicago South Loop Hotel UIC Soccer Classic
LOCATION: Chicago, Ill.
STADIUM: Flames Field (1,000)
Click HERE for match notes
A LOOK AT THE BADGERS: Wisconsin has played a tough schedule to date, losing to regionally-ranked Florida International and now-20th-ranked Washington, also tying No. 13 Georgetown...True freshman Chase Rau has started four games in net, allowing 1.82 goals per game...Chris Prince is the team's strongest offensive threat, leading the team in goals (2), points (5), shots (13) and shots on goal (6)...The Badgers were predicted to finish sixth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches' Poll.
SERIES HISTORY: Wisconsin holds a 7-4-1 advantage against the Leathernecks all-time...The Badgers defeated Western Illinois 1-0 last year, despite six Leathernecks each taking two shots in the game.
A LOOK AT THE FLAMES: All four of UIC's losses have been by one goal, including the two most recently in overtime to No. 13 Georgetown and regionally-ranked Florida International...The Flames shut out Ohio State on the road, 2-0, in their lone win...Ivan Stanisavljevic leads the team with six points, two assists, 16 shots and 11 shots on goal...Ned Pavlovic has also scored a pair of goals.
SERIES HISTORY: The Leathernecks lead the all-time series agains the Flames, 16-14-1...The squads most recently played to a 0-0 tie in 2009, in which current assistant coach Stephen Paterson stopped all four saves in net.
LAST TIME OUT: The Leathernecks are coming off a 3-0 loss at No. 20 Marquette, in which none of the team's 10 shots found the back of the net...The Badgers are coming off a 1-1 tie against No. 13 Georgetown, as neither team was able to score in overtime or double overtime...Paul Yonga scored for Wisconsin on an AJ Cochran assist...UIC most recently lost to Florida International in overtime, 2-1...Ned Pavlovic gave UIC a 1-0 lead, but Colby Burdette scored two straight goals to win the game for FIU.
IT'S NOT HOW YOU START...: Western Illinois men's soccer teams that struggled early on in the season have gone on to excel later in the season...Last year, the team started 0-2-1, but went 13-5 the rest of the way en route to a Summit League title...The 2009 conference championship team began the season 0-4 before turning things around.
BEST OF THE WEEK: After his two-goal effort against DePaul, freshman Austin Gochneaur was tabbed the Summit League Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4...All four of his shots during the week were on target, including three in just his second collegiate start against the Blue Demons.
ATOP THE SUMMIT: Western Illinois players rank among the Summit League's statistical leaders...Yves Dietrich ranks tied for second in the league with 19 saves...Nathan Bruinsma's 12 shots put him in a tie for fourth in the conference.
PRESEASON KUDOS: The Fighting Leathernecks, coming off a Summit League title, have received high expectations coming into the 2012 season. Receiving five first-place votes, Western Illinois was predicted to finish first in the Summit League by conference head coaches...Additionally, College Sports Madness named Dr. Eric Johnson the Preseason Coach of the Year and Charlie Bales the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Bales was joined on the Preseason First Team All-League list by seniors Husref Jupic and Nathan Bruinsma, while Diego Gonzalez was a Second Team honoree...TopDrawerSoccer.com projected Western Illinois as the Summit League champs in its preseason Tournament 48 rankings.