Illini Come Up Short Against #10 Michigan, 2-0
Oct. 25, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois outshot No. 10 Michigan on Friday night, but came up short against the Wolverines, dropping a 2-0 decision at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. The Illini were shut out for the second game in a row and fell for the second time at home this season. Michigan remained in second place in the Big Ten at 7-1-1 (13-2-1 overall), while Illinois dropped to ninth in the conference standings at 3-5-1 (8-7-2 overall).
"Our possession was good tonight, but we just didn't finish as clinically as we have prior to these past couple games," head coach Janet Rayfield. "We were getting the ball in the places we wanted and we created chances. Jannelle had some opportunities and we had some opportunities. We've got to play the kind of soccer that we did tonight and finish the way that we finished all year long. We've been riding our finishing and not our game playing and tonight we had the game playing but not the finishing."
The nation's leading goal scorer Jannelle Flaws led the Illini with seven shots, including five on frame, but Michigan goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin made the stop each time on her way to seven saves. The Illini outshot the Wolverines 17-16 but were unable to find the back of the net.
Michigan struck first in the 24th minute on the fifth goal of the year by Madisson Lewis. She took a through ball from Nkem Ezurike ahead of a falling Illini defender and beat the keeper to the far post. The Wolverines notched their second and final goal in the 36th minute on a restart. Shelina Zadorsky sent the free kick into the box, where Holly Hein got her head on it and directed it into the upper right corner.
UM took a 2-0 lead into halftime which proved to be the final following a scoreless second half. Illinois controlled the pace and had chances, but came up empty against the stingy Michigan defense, which has allowed the fewest goals in the Big Ten all season. Senior Megan Pawloski and sophomore Nicole Breece each had a shot on goal.
"We just have to win games," Rayfield said. "At this time in the season, whether it's the postseason or the end of the season, it's win and move on. Every game you win gets you another game to play, that's the mentality we have to have. We have to go out and play like we did tonight and play to win on Sunday and play to win at Minnesota."
Up Next: Illinois will host Senior Day on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Michigan State at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. Seven Illini seniors, Kassidy Brown, Vanessa DiBernardo, Christina Farrell, Kristen Gierman, Allie Osoba, Lauren Parkin and Megan Pawloski, will be recognized before Sunday's game.