Jessica Bayne scored the game-winning goal in Illinois' 3-2 win over Michigan
Oct. 14, 2005
Champaign, Ill. - Illinois scored two goals in 41 seconds early in the second half to take the lead for good in a 3-2 win against Michigan in front of 465 fans at Illinois Soccer Stadium. Improved second-half defense played a major part as well, as the Illini limited Michigan to only six shots in the final period, compared to 12 first-half shots.
"Obviously it was a great confidence booster," forward Jessica Bayne (Troy, Ill.) said. "We came out hard in the first half, we got our first goal, and then they scored two goals. They were pounding us going into halftime, but we came out in the second half ready to play and put two nice goals in."
For the second time in as many games, Illinois (8-4-2 overall, 4-2-0 in the Big Ten) scored in the third minute of the game, this time as Eva Strickland (Seattle, Wash.) stuck a header past the Wolverine goalkeeper far post off a cross from midfielder Kristy Weeks (North Vancouver, B.C.) to put the Illini up 1-0 at the 2:14 mark. Michigan rebounded with a pair of goals in the 25th and 29th minutes, including a corner kick that kept bending and went into the goal high far post at the 24:50 mark, to put the Wolverines up 2-1 at half.
The Illini cashed in a corner kick right out of halftime when Natasha Karniski (Iowa City, Iowa) notched her fifth season goal, heading in a header pass from Emily Zurrer (Vancouver, B.C.) off Christen Karniski's (Iowa City, Iowa) corner kick to tie the game 2-2 at the 48:45 mark. Illinois then pounced on the vulnerable Wolverines as Bayne recorded her fifth goal of the year by chipping a 23-yard shot high to the left post from the top of the box following a scrum in front of the goal at 49:26 to put the Illini up 3-2. The pair of goals in 41 seconds is eighth on the list of fastest consecutive goals in program history.
"Something we've talked about all year is that when we get a goal, we really need to put the foot on the accelerator," Illinois coach Janet Rayfield said. "To get one to tie it and then immediately get another to go ahead, and to just continue to put pressure and put pressure was huge tonight."
Illinois appeared to turn a corner against the Wolverines, continuing to battle for possession and controlling the game with defense in the second half, allowing half as many shots in the second period as in the first. The Illini also showed some veteran savvy when, led by juniors Strickland and Bayne, they repeatedly held the ball in the attacking corner near the end of the game and repeatedly won balls away from desperate Michigan attackers.
"It was great in the last few minutes that we had the composure to keep the ball," Rayfield said. "This team has some real savvy to them when it comes to that kind of thing."
Illinois returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. when it hosts Michigan State, which brings a record of 9-3-3, 5-1-0 in the Big Ten, after downing Iowa 4-1 Friday.