Women's Soccer

Tara Hurless
Tara Hurless


Rockford, Ill.

High School:




Club team:
Sirens F.C.

Team co-captain

Named a second team All-American by the NSCAA and an honorable mention All-American by Soccerbuzz • First team All-Great Lakes Region pick by Soccerbuzz and NSCAA • First team All-Big Ten selection • Named team's Offensive MVP for third straight year • Led the team in points (30) and goals scored (13), ranking third in the Big Ten in both categories • Two of her goals came against Ohio in a 6-0 Illini victory on 8/31 • Scored two goals, including the game winner with less than three minutes left, in a 2-1 victory over Indiana on 10/17 • Scored in four consecutive games against Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern and UW-Green Bay, including two against Northwestern on 10/24 • Selected to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team and captured Offensive MVP honors after scoring the game-winner in the title game less than a minute after going down with a knee injury • Finished junior season ranked second on the Illinois career list in goals (35), points (82), shots attempted (225) and game-winning goals (9) • Was selected to the U.S. U-21 National Team in the spring of 2004 and played in a tournaments in Brazil with Team USA over the summer.

Named the team's offensive MVP for the second consecutive year • Was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after netting four goals in one weekend, two in a 4-2 in over Butler and then two more in a 3-0 win over #25 Cincinnati • Also netted two goals in a 4-0 win over Eastern Illinois on senior night • Scored 12 goals on the season to lead the team and tie for third in the Big Ten • Her five assists also tied for the team lead • Notched three assists in the second half of UI's thrilling 4-3 comeback win over #10 Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament • Those three assists tied both the team and conference records for assists in a game and half • Fired 63 shots on the season to lead the team and rank seventh in the Big Ten • Earned second team All-Big Ten Honors • Earned third team All-Great Lakes Region honors from soccerbuzz • Ended the season ranking third on the Illinois career goals list with 22 in two seasons.

Named the team's offensive MVP • Named to the All-Tournament Team for her four-goal performance at the Big Ten Tournament • Recorded a hat trick with three straight goals against Iowa in her first Big Ten Tournament contest • Scored the game-winning goal in the 104th minute to lead the Illini past Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal • Scored 10 goals, finishing second on the team and tying for fifth in the Big Ten • Also tied for fifth in the Conference with three game-winning goals • 23 points ranked second on the team and 10th in the Big Ten • Scored first career goal against Michigan State on Sept. 23 • Earned Honorable Mention Freshman All-America honors from Soccerbuzz as well as being named Third Team All-Great Lakes Region and to the All Great Lakes Region Freshman Team.

High School
2000 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year • U-17 National Pool Team • Nic-9 Conference Female Athlete of the Year • Two-time Nic-9 MVP • Three-time All-Conference • All-Midwest Team her junior year • Four year conference and sectional champs • Scored 122 career goals and piled up 80 career assists • Nic-9 scholar-athlete • Honor roll all four years • High school coach was Mack Couper.

Born on March 16, 1983 • Daughter of Craig and Ronda Hurless • Has one sister • Majoring in speech communication.

Getting to know Tara
Nickname: Jr. • Favorite athlete: Julie Foudy • Favorite movie: Goonies • Favorite book: It's not about the Bike - Lance Armstrong • Favorite thing about Coach Rayfield: she's easy to talk to • Before a game I: eat a piece of green extra gum with Kelly Campbell • Not many people know this about me: I like my quiet time • Three words that describe me: talkative, humorous and competitive • I chose Illinois because: I loved the team and the coaches.

Coach Rayfield on Hurless
"Tara has matured a lot in the last 2 years. She will serve this season as a captain and our attacking players will look to her to lead the attack. Tara has had a tremendous spring and summer both with our squad and with the U-21 National Team. She ended the fall playing some of her best soccer, which earned her an opportunity to train and compete with the U-21 team. Those experiences have provided continued confidence and a new level of sophistication to her game that will be fun to watch this fall. Her challenge this season will be to deal with the attention (on and off the field) that her success will attract. She will be marked tightly and defenses will try to eliminate the impact she has on the game. Her ability to use our other offensive weapons and still be threatening herself will be critical for us. "

Hurless' Career Statistics

Year    GP-GS    S     SOG   G     A    Pts.   GWG
2001    21-20    86    45    10    3    23     3
2002    21-20    63    31    12    5    29     2
2003    22-21    76    38    13    4    30     4     
Total   64-61    225   114   35    12   82     9