Women's Soccer
Illini, Buckeyes Tie in Big Ten Opener, 1-1

Forward Jannelle Flaws scored her team-high ninth goal in the 1-1 tie against Ohio State in Columbus.
Forward Jannelle Flaws scored her team-high ninth goal in the 1-1 tie against Ohio State in Columbus.

Sept. 20, 2013

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Illinois jumped out to a quick 1-0 advantage and led for nearly 80 minutes, but Ohio State scored in the 84th minute, which sent the Big Ten opener to overtime, where it ended in a 1-1 draw. Redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws tallied her team-high ninth goal in the seventh minute and registered a game-high six shots, putting four on frame. UI has played four overtime games in its first nine contests, marking the most in program history to start the season.

"We played really well defensively," head coach Janet Rayfield said. "We controlled the game in the first half, but they put more pressure on us in the second half. We got punished on a miscommunication on our back line and that evened it up. We will not be satisfied with a draw when we had opportunities to win the game, but a point on the road is better than nothing and we continued to get better tonight."

Illinois moved to 5-2-2 overall and 0-0-1 in Big Ten play, while Ohio State finished at 6-1-2 and 0-0-1 in conference. It marked the second tie in the 19 all-time meetings between the two squads, with the other coming in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament in Evanston, Ill. The Illini advanced with a 4-2 advantage on penalty kicks in that game.

With 6:20 on the clock at Jesse Ownens Memorial Stadium, Flaws put one away from 20 yards out to the far post off the third assist by redshirt-sophomore Aliina Weykamp. The Glenview, Ill., native ranks second in the Big Ten with nine goals, behind conference leader Maya Hayes, who has 10 goals for Penn State.

"It was huge to get that goal early," Rayfield said. "Jannelle is not afraid to turn and shoot. She continues to score goals and be a threat for us."

The evenly-played opening stanza went into halftime with the Illini leading 1-0 and holding slight edges in shots (9-8) and corner kicks (2-0). Seven of the Illini's nine shots were on target, as the OSU keeper made six saves, while freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley saved all three shots on goal.

The Buckeyes controlled the possession in the second half, holding a 13-5 advantage on shots and 7-3 lead on corner kicks. Michela Paradiso knotted it up in the 84th minute with her first goal of the year thanks to a long ball ahead by Danica Wu and a through ball by Ellyn Gruber.

With under 10 seconds remaining, Ohio State took a corner kick, which resulted in a collision in the box between Nichelle Prince and Wheatley, who made her seventh save on the header shot but went down hard. Senior Lauren Parkin replaced Wheatley, who was slow to get up but walked off on her own power, in goal for the final seven seconds of regulation and played all 20 minutes of overtime, marking a career high in just her second career appearance.

"It's a challenge to get thrown into that type of situation as a goalkeeper," Rayfield said. "Lauren made a couple of saves and did what she needed to do when her name was called to keep the game tied."

Parkin made her first career saves with one in each overtime, as the Buckeyes took only two shots in extra time, both on target. The Illini had a pair of shots in each overtime, but were unable to find the back of the net. Senior Megan Pawloski and junior Allie Osoba each tested the keeper, while Flaws had the other two shots.

The back line of seniors Kassidy Brown and Christina Farrell, sophomore Amy Feher and freshman Casey Conine played all 110 minutes in a strong defensive effort by the Illini. Senior Vanessa DiBernardo took three shots and also played the entire game along with sophomore Taylore Peterson in the midfield.

Up Next: Illinois will welcome a pair of Big Ten foes to the Illinois Soccer Stadium next weekend beginning with a 7 p.m. match against Iowa on Friday, Sept. 27. The Illini will host their premier promotion, SoccerFest, on Sunday, Sept. 29 when they take on Nebraska at 1 p.m. The eighth-annual SoccerFest will feature free pizza for the first 1,000 fans, a petting zoo, a create your own animal keychain station, the chance to make your own caramel apple and post-game autographs. The Sunday Soccer Fan Zone will be available for fans one hour prior to the game and a Celebrity Bumper Ballz Showdown will be held at halftime.