Women's Soccer
Illini Beat Indiana 2-1 in Thriller

Allie Osoba netted tonight's game-winner as the Illini won 2-1 over Indiana
Allie Osoba netted tonight's game-winner as the Illini won 2-1 over Indiana

Sept. 28, 2012

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Fighting Illini women's soccer team stunned the Bloomington crowd with a 2-1 come from behind win over Indiana, scoring both goals in the final 11 minutes of the match. Amy Feher and Allie Osoba scored the pair of Illini goals tonight with Kassidy Brown and Amy Feher earning the respective assists on the plays. Illinois moves to 6-4-1 overall and 3-1-0 in Big Ten play, while Indiana drops to 5-6-1 and 0-4-0 in conference competition.

"This was not our best performance as far as the type of soccer that we are capable of playing and the type of soccer that we want to play," said head coach Janet Rayfield. "However, our grit and determination got us the all important Big Ten road win."

It was a back and forth battle in the first half where both teams had opportunities. Abby Smith registered the best chance  for the Hoosiers in the 12th-minute with a shot off the post. Steph Panozzo tallied her first and only save of the half in the 37th-minute off of a Bekah White shot. The Illini struggled to test the Hoosier goalkeeper thanks to gritty defending by the Indiana defense and several blocked shots.

Illinois ended the first half leading in shots 6-4 and held a 2-0 advantage in corner kicks. Entering into tonight's contest, the Illini were 2-2-1 when the game was tied at half; yet, the Orange and Blue would have to rally to make that a winning mark in the second half. 

Vanessa DiBernardo tried to get the Illini attack rolling in the first ten minutes of the second period. The junior recorded a shot on goal, forcing goalkeeper Shannon Flower to make her second save of the match. DiBernardo then kicked the ensuing corner, but the Illini could not get control of the ball to release a shot.

Indiana got on the board first in the 56th-minute on a shot from Orianica Velasquez. Junior Rebecca Candler found Velasquez on the far side with a long service, and the Indiana goalscorer blasted the ball past Panozzo from 15 yards out. The strike was Velasquez's third goal of the season.

The Illini picked up their urgency in the following minutes as DiBernardo's shot went just high and Breece's shot went a tad right of the post. The duo tallied another round of shots in the 75th-minute but both went wide. 

Freshman Amy Feher then answered the call for the Illini in the 79th minute. From a dead ball restart, Kassidy Brown struck a deep cross into the box, and Feher won the battle for the header and flicked the ball into the back of the net to tie the game at one. The tally was Feher's first collegiate goal.

Next, Allie Osoba wasted no time when she checked in for the Illini in the 84th minute. Thirty seconds after the substitution, Osoba scored the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner. Allie collected the turnover inside the Hoosiers' penalty box and released a shot that went to the inside left post. Osoba picked up her first goal of the season and second in her career. 

Steph Panozzo finished with two saves on the night as she picked up her sixth win along with the Illini. Illinois completed 15 shots with four on goal. The Illini defense played well, limiting an Indiana squad who averages 14.3 shots a game to nine shots this evening. In addition, the defense did not surrender a single Hoosiers corner kick.

"Amy Feher and Allie Osoba came off the bench, fought hard, and battled, and as a result, they both got their first goals of the season and we got the win," said Rayfield. "I am happy that the work they put in every day in training paid off for them and for us tonight."  

Several streaks stayed in tack for the Illini this evening. The Orange and Blue moved to 4-0-0 when playing underneath the lights on Friday and 3-0-0 when scoring at least two goals. In addition, Illinois has now won three straight against the Hoosiers, with their last lost occurring in 2008. The Illini are 10-3-3 lifetime against Indiana.

The Illini return to action this Sunday when they travel to West Lafayette to battle Purdue in the final game of the Indiana road trip. Kick off is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT.