Flaws Leads Illini Past #20 Wisconsin, 3-2
Oct. 12, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois forward Jannelle Flaws scored twice and sophomore Taylore Peterson put the Illini on the board with a penalty kick in the Illini's 3-2 win over No. 20 Wisconsin on Saturday night. Illinois never trailed in the Big Ten battle at the Illinois Soccer Stadium and snapped its three-game losing skid while topping a ranked opponent for the first time in two attempts this season. Flaws now leads the Big Ten and is tied for first in the country with 15 goals.
"We battled tonight and didn't quit," head coach Janet Rayfield said. "An early goal calmed us down and we never panicked even when they had a barrage of shots at the end. The defining moment for us was getting the third goal. We could've folded and panicked because there was still a decent amount of time on the clock, but that goal made it a whole different game again. Jannelle Flaws put the team on her back and kept scoring goals."
The contest began as a defensive battle until the 36th minute when the Badgers committed a foul in the box, which allowed Peterson to score her first goal of the year and third career on the penalty kick. Six minutes later, the Illini added their second tally thanks to a perfect pass ahead of the defense by sophomore Amy Feher that set up Flaws for her first of two goals. Feher, who also stopped several balls on the line, earned her fourth assist on the year.
Illinois carried a 2-0 advantage into halftime, as Wisconsin held a slight edge in shots (8-7) and corner kicks (3-2). The Badgers stepped up the attack in the second half, outshooting the Orange and Blue 15-3 and taking all eight corner kicks. But the Illini defense came through multiple times, as freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley equaled a career high with nine saves.
Wisconsin didn't score its first goal until late in the second half with 77:06 on the clock, which cut the deficit in half, 2-1. The Illini responded immediately off the ensuing restart, scoring 17 seconds later when Flaws put away her second goal off the ball played into the box by sophomores Reagan Robishaw and Nicole Breece.
The Illini held off the late charge that saw the Badgers score with 39 seconds remaining, but it was too little too late. Despite being outshot 23-10 and trailing 11-2 in corner kicks, Illinois pulled out the 3-2 victory, improving to 7-5-2 overall and 2-3-1 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin dropped to 8-3-2 overall and 3-2-1 in the conference.
"A lot of players performed better tonight than they had been and played with more composure," head coach Janet Rayfield said. "Everybody is going to have to play well for us to be successful in games like this. A lot of people put their heart and soul into this game."
With five games remaining in the regular season, Flaws is three goals shy of Emily Brown's single-season school record of 18 goals in 1999. The Glenview, Ill., native is already tied for the third-most goals by an Illini in a season with 15. She scored multiple goals in a game for the fourth time this year.
Up Next: Illinois will hit the road for a pair of games next week when it heads to Northwestern on Thursday (Oct. 17) at 6:30 p.m. followed by a trip to Happy Valley for an 11 a.m. match against Penn State on Sunday (Oct. 20).