NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After suffering its first loss of the season, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team will look to rebound in the Mafiaoza’s Invitational on Friday hosted by Belmont University at E.S. Rose Park.
The Bisons will matchup with Illinois-Chicago on Friday the 13th at 3:30 p.m. before playing Cleveland State on Sunday with a noon kick-off. Both opponents reside in the Horizon League.
This will be the first time the Bisons have played either school.
Last weekend Lipscomb traveled to Dayton, Ohio and came away with a 1-1 record. Junior Omar Djabi scored two goals in the Bisons win versus Eastern Illinois.
With four goals on the season Djabi is tied for third in the nation and leads the Atlantic Sun in goals scored. He also leads the A-Sun in goals per game (1.33), points (9), points per game (3) and game-winning goals (2).
The Bisons were shutout for the first time this season in a 2-0 loss to Dayton on Sunday.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-CHICAGO
After finishing third in the Horizon last season, UIC was picked to finish fourth in the 2013 preseason poll.
UIC (1-2-0) is coming off their first win of the season, a 4-2 victory over Western Michigan. The Flames opened the fall slate with a 1-0 loss to 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara.
Serbian native Aleksov Slobodan leads the team with two goals and is tied for third in the Horizon. Slobodan also leads the team in points (4), shot attempts (8) and shots on goal (5).
Goalkeeper Andrew Purta has a 1-2-0 record while saving five shots and allowing six goals.
The Flames have outshot their opponents for the season 36-15.
CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERTIY
The Cleveland State men’s soccer team was voted the preseason favorite to win the Horizon in 2013 by the league’s head coaches.
After finishing second in the conference last season, the Vikings claimed the conference tournament championship to advance to the NCAA tournament where they lost 2-1 to Michigan State in the first round.
Last week the Vikings matched up with the seventh-ranked Louisville Cardinals and lost 2-0 on Wednesday, while rebounding in a home opening win over Marshall 2-1 on Sunday.
Seniors Jordan Hart and Admir Suljevic lead the Vikings with two goals each.
Cleveland State platoons at goalkeeper with all three goalies on the squad earning playing time. In the win over Marshall, freshman Nick Ciraldo made his first-career start and collected three saves.
Sophomore Austin Saini has seven saves while junior Joe Kalt has four stopped balls.
Lipscomb is in the middle of a four-game stretch played away from home. The Bisons return to the Lipscomb Soccer Complex on Sept. 20 when they host the Hyatt Place Select Lipscomb Invitational.
On Friday the 20th the Purple and Gold will face Appalachian State at 7:30 p.m. before turning around and playing Central Arkansas on Sunday Sept. 22 with a scheduled kick-off at 2:30 p.m.