13-5-1 (6-3-1 Big Ten) | 4th Place Big Ten | NCAA Tournament Round of 64 | Highlight Video
The Illini improved considerably in 2010, ending with an overall record of 13-5-1 to go with a 6-3-1 finish in Big Ten games to earn their seventh NCAA Tournament berth under head coach Janet Rayfield.
Illinois began the season with consecutive wins over Loyola-Chicago, Wright State and Ball State - outscoring the opposition, 8-1, during the three contests. Freshman Vanessa DiBernardo established herself as a legitimate scoring threat out of the midfield during this season-opening win streak, notching three goals and one assist.
After dropping their first contest of the season at Connecticut, the Illini responded with shutouts of Yale, Cincinnati, LSU and No. 23 Louisville to finish regular season non-conference play with a 7-1 record.
Illinois dropped its first conference match of the season to Minnesota, snapping a streak of 430 consecutive shutout minutes. Following the loss, the Orange and Blue responded with a five game unbeaten streak, downing Purdue, Indiana, Iowa and No. 17 Ohio State while tying with Wisconsin after playing through double overtime. During this stretch, DiBernardo broke the program record for goals and points in a game by notching every Illini tally during the team's 4-1 win over the Boilermakers. To conclude this five game stretch of dominance, Illinois earned a last-minute victory, 2-1, over the NCAA Tournament College Cup-bound Buckeyes in their final regular season home game, only the second and final home loss of the season for Ohio State.
To round out its conference victories and earn fourth place in the Big Ten, Illinois earned identical shutout victories, 1-0, over Michigan State and Northwestern. DiBernardo tallied the lone goal against the Spartans while sophomore Niki Read provided the difference against the Wildcats.
In the NCAA Tournament Opening Rounds, Illinois was bracketed with eventual 2010 NCAA Champion Notre Dame, Mountain West Conference Champion New Mexico and USC, falling to the nationally ranked Trojans in South Bend, Ind.
Throughout the 2010 season, the Illini improved in nearly every offensive statistical measure from their 2009 performance - recording more points, goals, assists, shots, shots per game, and corner kicks. On defense, Illinois held its opponents to a lower goals total, shot percentage and fewer shots attempts. In net, Alexandra Kapicka concluded her career with another great season, allowing only 15 goals in 1,522 minutes for a goals-against average of 0.89. The Arlington Heights, Ill., native stopped 82 percent of the shots she faced, making 68 total saves en route to an 11-5-1 record and six individual shutouts.