Illini Return Seven Starters from 2013 Sweet Sixteen Team
Student-Athletes Honored for Earning GPAs of 3.7 or Higher, Including Seven 4.0 GPAs at Illinois
Vanessa DiBernardo and Nathan Scheelhaase completed outstanding careers as Illini and now start down a new path in their lives.
Soccer, Football standouts win prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor
DiBernardo, Peterson Share Team MVP Honors; Flaws Earns Offensive MVP Award
Photos from Illinois' Senior Day shutout (2-0) of Michigan State at the Illinois Soccer Stadium
Photos from Illinois' 6-2 victory over College of Charleston in the home opener at the Illinois Soccer Stadium
Illinois midfielder and All-American Vanessa DiBernardo.
Vanessa DiBernardo served as a student assistant coach during the 2014 season while she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois.
2013 - Senior: Awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is given to a student-athlete who attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work ... Drafted No. 4 overall by the Chicago Red Stars in the 2014 NWSL College Draft, making her the highest drafted player in school history ... Top Drawer Soccer Second-Team Best XI ... MAC Hermann Trophy Candidate ... NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team ... Capital One Second-Team Academic All-American ... Capital One First-Team Academic All-District ... NSCAA Third-Team Scholar All-American ... Academic All-Big Ten ... Big Ten Distinguished Scholar ... Big Ten Conference "Player To Watch"... Pre-Season All-American (Soccer America) ... Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Top-100 National Player (#3) ... Was called up to the United States Women's National Team (WNT) for one match ... Helped the Illini reach the Sweet Sixteen, marking the team's best finish during her four-year career ... Ranked second on the Illini with seven goals in 15 games despite missing seven games due to a knee injury and one due to her WNT call-up ... Finished her career ranked third in school history with 43 goals ... Recorded a career-high seven assists and set the school record with 22 career assists ... Ranked second on the team with 57 shots and equaled the school record for most career shots with 325 ... Scored a team-high four penalty kicks, including the game-winner in PKs in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Washington State.
2012 - Junior: NSCAA Third Team All-America ... MAC Hermann Trophy Candidate ... All-Big Ten First Team ... NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region First Team ... Big Ten All-Tournament Team ... Two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 8 & Oct. 29) ... Top Drawer Soccer Top-100 National Player (#7) and Big Ten Top-20 Conference Player (#2) ... NSCAA First-Team Scholar All-American ... Academic All-Big Ten ... SoccerNewsNet College Boot Award Candidate ... TopDrawerSoccer 2nd Team All-Upperclassmen ... U.S. Soccer Young Athlete of the Year Finalist... College Soccer 360 Primetime Performance List for Week 11 ... Big Ten Conference "Player To Watch"... Pre-Season All-American (Soccer America) ... Led the team in points, goals and shots ... Tallied a goal on her first shot of the season vs. Iowa ... Recorded a game-winning hat trick against Michigan State ... Notched a five point performance in win at Michigan ... Recorded a point in four straight contests from 10/18-10/31 ... Netted a team high three successful penalty kicks.
U.S. National Program Experience: Played in all five games at the U-20 World Cup Qualifying Tournament (CONCACAF), hosted in Panama City, Panama from March 3-11, helping the U.S. finish first overall ... Scored two goals and assisted on one other while in Panama at the CONCACAF tournament, seeing time in all five games while starting two, including the championship contest against Canada ... Tallied her first goal vs. Cuba before earning USSoccer.com Woman of the Matchwith a three-point performance vs. host-Panama during World Cup Qualifying play ... Returned to train with the U-20 squad from May 13-20, 2012, in preparation for the World Cup ... Notched a pair of assists while playing the full contest during a 5-0 friendly victory against New Zealand to wrap up the May 13-20 practice session ... Traveled to Japan for a pair of friendlies as a member of the U20 World Cup roster in July while also heading to Bradenton, Fla., for an extended training camp ... Participated in the Four Nations Tournament, hosted by Spain, with the U-20 squad from Feb. 9-13 as the U.S. went 3-0-0 and outscored Sweden, Germany and Norway by a combined margin of 13-0 ... Trained with the U-23 teams in California on two occasions and once more with the U-20s during the Summer of 2011.
2011 - Sophomore: NSCAA Second Team All-America ... Soccer America Second Team All-America ... MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List ... NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region First Team ... Big Ten Midfielder of the Year ... First Team All-Big Ten ... Big Ten All-Tournament Team ... Top Drawer Soccer Top-100 Collegiate Player (#32) and Top-20 Big Ten Player (#5) ... Big Ten Conference "Player To Watch" ... Two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (8/22; 10/3) ... Two-time Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America Team of the Week (8/22; 10/3) ... Two-time Chicagoland Soccer News Player of the Week (8/22; 10/3) ... Illini/Boilermaker Challenge and LSU Invitational All-Tournament Team ... Soccer News Net Player of the Year Finalist ... Capital One Academic All-District Second Team ... Big Ten Distinguished Scholar ... Academic All-Big Ten ... Scored two goals each vs. Gonzaga, Toledo, Colorado and Indiana, including the game-winners in each ... Tallied the game-winner at Ball State ... Assisted on the game-tying mark at Louisville ... Notched her ninth goal of the season vs. Oregon ... Earned her first collegiate multi-assist performance at Iowa ... Converted her first penalty kick attempt against Purdue, another game-winner ... Assisted on the game-winner in double overtime at Michigan State ... Tallied the game-winners against Minnesota and Wisconsin ... Scored lone goals against Northwestern and Nebraska ... Tied the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals match with Ohio State with her 16th goal ... Added her final goal to secure victory over #11 Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament Championship ... 17 goals in 2011 are the most in a season by an Illini since Emily Brown had 18 in 1999 ... Named a finalist for the Dike Eddleman Female Athlete of the Year award - issued annually to the best University of Illinois athlete of each gender.
2010 - Freshman:
2010 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year ... 2010 IHSSCA Illinois Player of the Year ... Ranked as the No. 51 player in the class of 2010 by Top Drawer Soccer ... Two-time NSCAA/adidas All-American ... 2009 ESPN Rise Third Team All-American ... Four-time IHSSCA all-state and three-time Upstate Eight All-Conference ... U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) national pool player in 2006 and 2007 and member of ODP Region II team from 2006-09 ... Captain of Region II team in 2007 and 2008 ... Led Waubonsie Valley to IHSA Class AA state titles in 2007 and 2008 and the IHSA Class AAA state title in 2010 ... 2009 The Beacon News Girls Soccer Player of the Year ... 2009 Chicago Sun-Times All-Area ... Earned four letters in soccer at Waubonsie Valley and was three-time team captain ... Club All-American for America's Soccer Club while being coached by her father, Angelo ... Played with the Chicago Red Eleven of the USL W-League in 2008.
Born May 15, 1992 ... Daughter of Angelo and Patricia DiBernardo ... Has an older sister, Angela ... Father, Angelo is a legendary soccer player who played with the U.S. National Team for seven seasons and was an All-American at Indiana, winning the Hermann Trophy in 1978 as the top collegiate player in the country.
Getting to Know Vanessa: Favorite Athlete: Lionel Messi ... Most Influenced By: "My parents, they encouraged me and allowed me to become the player I am today." ... Favorite Pro Teams: Chicago Blackhawks and Cubs ... Favorite Movie: Inception ... Favorite TV Shows: Grey's Anatomy and Glee ... Favorite Athletic Moment: Winning state titles at Waubonsie Valley ... Favorite Quote: "What does not break us will only make us stronger."
Vanessa DiBernardo's Career Statistics
Updated January 2015