Sept. 22, 2000
Normal, Ill. - .--"In order to achieve at a high level, you have to be consistent," said Illinois Head Coach Tricia Taliaferro after Friday's match with Illinois State. "The Illinois team we need to see team didn't show up today."
Taliaferro's comments came after the Illini's 2-0 loss to Illinois State (4-2) in Normal. On the force of two first half goals, the Redbirds stymied the momentum Illinois had gained from a 2-0 shutout at Minnesota on Sunday.
For the eighth time in as many games, Illinois (5-3) out-shot its opponent (22-18), but the Illini failed to take advantage of some key opportunities. Freshman Tiffani Walker came off the bench to provide a spark just after the halfway mark of the first half. After shaking a defender, Walker fired a shot from 20 yards out that hit the goal standard and deflected wide. Walker also got off a quick shot that was saved by ISU's Becky Feldman.
After controlling the first 25 minutes, Illinois State scored quickly. Illinois State's Crystal Johnston stole the ball at the midfield setting up a shot by Cristina Gutierrez. Although Gutierrez misfired on the attempt, it bounced right to Annie Wayland, who scored for the Redbirds at 31:32.
Illinois State never really relinquished the momentum from there. The Redbirds put Illinois in a monster hole eight minutes later when this time Gutierrez put home a ball on a rebound, making it 2-0.
On the positive front, Illinois defender Sue Hodson played a strong offensive game, getting into the zone for a couple of nice crosses. Freshman forward Colleen Joyce set up one of six Illinois corner opportunities late in the half.
The chances were for the most part were scarce for Illinois in the second half. Lisa Baldwin gave Illinois three scoring chances. After attacking the Redbird zone, Baldwin fed Lindsay Johnson for a shot that sailed just over the net. Baldwin found Emily Brown for a shot attempt later in the half and set up a corner opportunity by gaining an advantage with just over 20 minutes left in the game. Illinois State, however, preserved the shutout
"Last week after falling at Wisconsin, we regrouped nicely to beat Minnesota" noted Taliaferro. "We have to learn from today, keep our focus, and concentrate on bouncing back in the Big Ten on Sunday.
The Illini meet Michigan State at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Illinois Soccer Field.