Sophomore Vanessa DiBernardo scored her 10th and 11th goals of the season against Indiana, recording her fifth game-winner on the year in the process.
Sept. 30, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois soccer team used a flurry of second-half tallies to rout the Indiana Hoosiers, 4-1, on Friday evening as the Orange and Blue celebrated World Cup Night at Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium. Sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo recorded two tallies during the game, including the game-winner, while senior midfielder Marissa Mykines and sophomore forward Megan Pawloski each scored once.
"We take away that we can be an attacking and scoring offensive team," said Illinois head coach Janet Rayfield on her team's performance against Indiana. "Our ball movement and our movement off the ball tonight were both good. We struggled sometimes to find the back of the net and we still have to be a little better defensively. We gave up a goal right at the start of the second half and we do not want to do that but to answer and get three goals is a good response from us."
To give Illinois its first lead, DiBernardo tallied the lone goal of the opening half at the 39:36 mark, her 10th goal on the season. Junior Niki Read controlled play outside the 18-yard box toward the right sideline and crossed the ball into the center, where DiBernardo received the pass, dribbled once and fired a shot into the left side of the goal.
Indiana (5-6-1 overall, 1-3-0 Big Ten) tied the contest at 1-1 early in the second half against the run of play, getting a goal from Kate McCusker in the 48th minute. McCusker recovered a contested ball in the box and placed a shot in the net near the center of the left post, just outside the reach of Illinois goalkeeper Steph Panozzo.
However, the game only remained tied for five minutes before DiBernardo again gave the Illini a one-goal advantage. Junior forward Marissa Holden controlled play near the left corner flag and used her right foot to cross the ball into the Indiana 18-yard box. As Holden's cross reached the center of the field, DiBernardo ran onto it and headed a shot into the upper-right corner of the net for her second goal of the game. The eventual game-winner also doubled as DiBernardo's 11th goal on the season, matching her 19-game freshman total in only her 12th game of the current year, a mark which also led the Big Ten Conference during the 2010 season.
"Tonight, it was just about her finding the right runs to make," Rayfield said on DiBernardo's play in the midfield. "It took a little bit of time and there were a lot of tight numbers in the box. She made a couple of great runs and Niki Read and Marissa Holden found her with the ball. The timing of what she did to get those two goals were what really made it happen. In all honesty, she had two people deliver her great balls."
The Illini added two insurance tallies to reach the final score, 4-1. In the 71st minute, Mykines dribbled from the center of the field toward the right sideline, heading for the corner flag. As Mykines moved up the field, the Indiana defense closed in on the Spokane, Wash., native in an attempt to overwhelm Mykines and cause a turnover. As two defenders moved within striking distance, Mykines poked the ball ahead, used a burst of speed to squeeze between the Indiana players, beat a third defender one-on-one by dribbling to Myknins' right and fired an on-target attempt low and at the near post, sneaking the shot below the diving Indiana goalie, Lindsay Campbell, for the third Illini tally.
Less than seven minutes later, Pawloski capped scoring with a strike from the edge of the six-yard box. Senior defender Julie Ewing owned possession of the ball near the left corner flag, dribbled toward the box and passed to the feet of sophomore Jannelle Flaws, who tapped the ball out to Pawloski. The Belleville, Ill., native ran onto the pass and fired a shot into the top of the netting before Campbell had a chance to adjust to the play.
Illinois controlled possession and pace for the majority of the contest, imposing its will on Indiana with 23 shots, against only nine for the Hoosiers. Illinois also earned more on-target attempts, 13-4, and took the only two corner kicks of the contest. The game was a physical match throughout, as both teams looked to impose their wills on one another, with Illinois being called for 17 fouls against Indiana's 10. Campbell saved nine Illini attempts in net, while Panozzo recorded three stops to secure the victory.
The Orange and Blue (7-4-1, 1-2-1) return to action at Illinois Soccer Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 2, hosting Purdue (4-7-2, 1-2-1) at 1 p.m. CT. Admission and parking for all home soccer contests is free of charge.