Rachel Frank garnered her first shutout of the season in Illinois' 1-0 win over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
Nov. 3, 2005
Ann Arbor, Mich. - Illinois increased its streak of winning first-round Big Ten tournament games to seven with a 1-0 win against fifth-seeded Minnesota in front of 246 at the U-M Soccer Field. Jessica Bayne scored her eighth goal of the season in the 30th minute and Rachel Frank recorded her first shutout of the season as the Illini move on to face Michigan Friday at 6:30 p.m. The eighth-seeded Wolverines took out No. 1 Penn State in the quarterfinal round, winning 4-2 on penalty kicks.
"One of the things that's a legacy with our program is that every loss during the regular season is taken and turned into a positive in the postseason," Illinois coach Janet Rayfield said. "That's what you call peaking at the right time and hopefully we can continue to do that."
Illinois controlled the first half entirely, as Minnesota's only shot of the half came at 36:03. The Illini broke across with a goal at 29:46 as Jessica Bayne appeared to have her shot blocked by Minnesota keeper Molly Schneider 12 yards out from the goal, but the ball ricocheted off Bayne and over Schneider, rolling into the goal for a 1-0 Illinois lead. It was Bayne's third goal in as many games and eighth in Illinois' last 11 games.
"We were able to get numbers forward, but we couldn't get behind them for the most part," Rayfield said. "They defend hard - that's what they've done all season and have been successful with it."
It was more of the same in the second half, with the Illini routinely thwarting any potential Minnesota scoring chances with stellar defensive play. Minnesota's best opportunity came in the 85th minute when a corner kick bounced around in front of the goal mouth but was eventually cleared by the Illini.
"The key to our defense tonight was that we didn't make any mistakes," Rayfield said. "They were playing to try to get us to make a mistake, and we avoided that. The whole defense was great tonight, but Emily Zurrer winning balls tonight was huge for us."
For the game, Illinois outshot the Gophers 21-4 and held a 7-1 advantage in shots on goal. The victory was Illinois' seventh straight first-round Big Ten Tournament win dating back to 1999. Illinois improves to 10-6 all-time in the tournament and 7-3 in one-goal matches this season.