Senior midfielder Marti Desjarlais sealed Illinois' 2-0 win over Colorado College with her second goal of the season.
Sept. 19, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 23 Illinois soccer team (5-3) used an early goal from junior forward Chichi Nweke and a late goal from senior midfielder Marti Desjarlais to capture a 2-0 victory over Colorado College (6-1-1) on Friday night at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium. The win extended the Illini's home win-streak to 10 games, dating back to the 2007 season.
"I thought we played in a way we thought we could be successful through the first half," head coach Janet Rayfield said. "Technically, we weren't as sharp and our passes weren't getting where wanted them to, especially in the second half. (Colorado College) stepped it up physically in the second half and it became a much more even game."
Illinois took a quick 1-0 lead just three minutes into the game when Nweke drove down the right flank to the endline and fired a shot. The ball deflected off Tiger goalkeeper Geneva Sills as she dove toward the post then rolled into the goal for Nweke's team-leading third goal of the season.
"We had talked about getting to the endline and driving a ball into the box that creates problems, and that's a dangerous situation for the defense to be in," Rayfield said. "Chichi hit that ball with some pace and she is dangerous when she gets to the endline."
The Illini continued to control the ball in the first half, but were unable to capitalize on anymore opportunities and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Colorado College immediately opened up its attack in the second half and began to take control offensively. The Tigers narrowly missed on a pair of opportunities in the 79th minute as Tiger Sydney Fetter bounced the ball off the post before taking the rebound and hitting the crossbar before the Illini cleared. The Orange and Blue defense held though, producing a shutout for the ninth time in the last 10 home games.
Illinois took advantage of the Tigers pressing offense on the counterattack with just under four minutes left on the clock. Sophomore forward Laura Knutson played a perfect cross to Desjarlais, who squared up at the 18 and rifled a shot over the outstretched hand of Tiger keeper to cap off the 2-0 win.
The Orange and Blue look to continue their home win-streak on Sunday, as the Illini host the Washington Huskies. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium.