Senior Courtney Bell had two shots against Penn State.
Oct. 25, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It was a tough result for the Illinois soccer team on Sunday afternoon, as the Illini fell 6-0 to Penn State on the road. Illinois falls to 6-7-3 overall and 1-4-2 in the Big Ten, while Penn State improves to 9-5-2 overall and 5-1-1 in conference play.
Illinois tried a different formation for the first time this season, playing three defenders and four midfielders instead of its typical four defenders and three midfielders.
"We tried a formation that was new and different for us, and it was a risk," Illini head coach Janet Rayfield said. "At times it showed good signs but it also exposed us defensively. It wasn't a six-goal game from penalty box to penalty box. The difference was how they have confidence inside the box to score goals. We didn't have the team confidence we need to have inside the penalty box, and that's a problem we have to solve."
Penn State senior All-American Katie Schoepfer led the way with a hat trick for the Nittany Lions. Illinois had a few good scoring chances in the first half and was still in the game at halftime, trailing 2-0, before Penn State opened it up with four second-half goals in a span of 14 minutes to put the game away. In addition to Schoepfer's three goals, Penn State got goals from Danielle Toney, Alli Rago and Maddy Evans.
For the match, Penn State owned a 19-12 advantage on shots and a 14-4 advantage in shots on goal. Junior Danielle Kot, senior Courtney Bell and Hilbrands all had two shots for the Illini while senior Alexandra Kapicka made seven saves in goal.
Up next, Illinois will host its final home weekend of the season at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. The Illini will face Michigan State on Friday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. and Michigan on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. Friday's match against the Spartans will air on the Big Ten Network, while Saturday is Senior Day to honor the Illini's five seniors.