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 October 3, 2012

by Prairie State College

When David Spataru took over the helm of the Prairie State College men’s soccer program in 2007, the Pioneers had posted just three victories over the course of their previous two seasons.

PSC’s fortunes have certainly changed for the better.

Tuesday night in Chicago Heights, the Pioneers continued their march toward the best record in school history, following a 4-1 win over Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference counterpart McHenry.

The triumph, Spataru’s 211th as a head coach, also secured PSC a sixth-straight winning season. It is also Spataru’s 10th consecutive winning campaign.

“I’m glad that our program is continuing to climb toward where we want to be,” Spataru said. “We’ve been playing a man down for awhile now and with the way the conditions were on the field today, with the wind, it wasn’t easy. I’m really proud of the guys and how they played.”

With the win, PSC improved to 11-2 overall and 4-2 in Skyway play.

Freshman forward Kyle Burry’s (Elk Rapids H.S., Mich) two-goal effort set the tone for the match.

Burry’s two-tally outing was his third of the slate.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Burry gave PSC a 1-0 lead when he accepted a feed from freshman midfielder Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu (AP College, Nigeria) and ripped it past the Scots’ goalkeeper in the 15th minute.

Burry also closed out the scoring for Prairie State when he used his head to redirect a pass from sophomore defender Austin Haire (Chesterton H.S., Ind.) in the 88th.

He now has eight goals on the season.

Ahmed-Shaibu tallied a marker in the 25th minute to stake PSC to a 2-0 edge, courtesy of an assist off the foot of Alexis Ferreira da Silva (Liceu Pasteur H.S., Brazil).

Ahmed-Shaibu has now found the back of the net 16 times in 2012 and is currently tied for fourth on the national scoring chart.

Sophomore midfielder Ivan Valencia (Plainfield South H.S.) notched his fourth goal of the season in the 75th following a helper by Ahmed-Shaibu.

McHenry cut PSC’s lead to 2-1 in the 55th.

Prairie State’s defense posted another stellar outing Tuesday and has allowed only 18 goals in 13 games this season.

“Our defense played another solid game and has played solid all year long,” Spataru said. “This is one of the best defensive teams I’ve ever had.”

PSC sophomore keeper Victor Lozano (East Chicago Central H.S., Ind.) made seven saves.

The Pioneers will now face Malcolm X in Chicago on Thursday (4 p.m.).

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