#17 Illinois Plays To Scoreless Tie At Wisconsin
Oct. 10, 2010
MADISON, Wis. - The University of Illinois women's soccer team earned its first tie of the season at the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday, playing 110 minutes of scoreless soccer to earn the draw. Senior Laura Knutson and sophomore Niki Read led the Illini with two shots each while senior goalkeeper Alexandra Kapicka stopped three Wisconsin attempts in net to earn the shutout.
"It was a game which found little rhythm," Illinois head coach Janet Rayfield said. "Wisconsin is a great defensive team because they are disruptive, never allowing you to gain rhythm while challenging the ball and pressuring every pass. This is the test we face now as teams know, if we find out rhythm and start moving the ball, we are a difficult team to defend."
For regulation play, Knutson produced the Illini's best scoring opportunity during the first half. In the 27th minute, the Crystal Lake, Ill., native placed a shot on goal, which deflected off the crossbar. Illinois also earned two opportunities to end the contest during the opening minutes of the second overtime. Only 50 seconds in, Read fired a shot on net; however, Wisconsin's keeper, Michele Dalton, was able to corral the ball for one of her two saves on the day. Freshman Vanessa DiBernardo followed with the final shot of the contest in the 104th minute, though the Badgers' defense was able to block DiBernardo's only attempt of the day before it reached the net.
For the contest, Illinois was outshot, 8-7, as the Badgers earned four corner kick attempts while holding the Illini to three. The Orange and Blue last played to a scoreless regular-season tie on Oct. 12, 2007 in Champaign, Ill., against Northwestern.
Illinois (9-2-1 overall, 2-1-1 Big Ten) returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 16 with a 7 p.m. contest against Iowa at Illinois Soccer Stadium.