Sunday, Sept. 23 // 12 p.m. // Illinois Soccer Stadium // Gates open at 11 a.m.
SoccerFest 2008: #21 Illinois 1, Michigan 0
SoccerFest 2007: Illinois 3, #24 Indiana 0
Illinois SoccerFest came about in 2006 after the idea spawned from the soccer staff and marketing department. The intent was to kick off the week to Homecoming with a barbeque-style event the whole family could enjoy. In the six SoccerFest games, Illinois remains undefeated at 5-0-1 with six of the top seven crowds in school history.
In its first year, the event smashed the Illinois home attendance record with a crowd of 2,667 fans. It was quite a treat for those in attendance, as No. 15 nationally-ranked Illinois' dramatic come-from-behind victory, 3-2, over No. 9 Penn State is one of the most memorable games in program history.
In 2007, 1,560 fans came out to watch the Illini defeat Indiana 3-0 on senior night. During 2008, Illinois tallied another victory as 2,036 fans turned out to watch the Orange and Blue beat Michigan by a score of 1-0. For SoccerFest 2009, the Illini opened their Big Ten Conference schedule by earning a double overtime tie, 2-2, with the Minnesota Badgers in front of 2,347. With the game being televised live on the Big Ten Network and around 30 motorcycles lining the track for the first "Biker Sunday," the Illini fought back from a 2-1 deficit in the second half to remain undefeated in matches held during SoccerFest. The Orange and Blue continued their winning ways with a 2-1 decision over Indiana, with Megan Pawloski recording both tallies on the day in front of another great showing for "Biker Sunday II." Most recently, the Illini kept the undefeated streak alive in 2011 when they downed Wisconsin 1-0 in front of a crowd of 1,138 fans. Pawloski recorded her third SoccerFest goal of her career.
2011 - 1,138
2010 - 1,328
2009 - 2,347
2008 - 2,036
2007 - 1,560
2006 - 2,667
Total - 11,086
Illinois 1, Wisconsin 0
The University of Illinois soccer team maintained its SoccerFest unbeaten streak, shutting down Wisconsin, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon for the team's fifth consecutive victory, all coming against conference foes. Sophomore forward Megan Pawloski recorded the lone tally of the contest, her third consecutive goal during a SoccerFest game. Illinois struck for the only goal in the 25th minute. Sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo started the play in the middle of the field, dribbling toward the Wisconsin net before passing to junior forward Shayla Mutz near the endline inside the 18-yard box. Mutz added one touch to send a low cross through the box as Pawloski sprinted onto the play and used a sliding kick to re-direct the ball into the top of the netting from inside the six-yard box. Junior goalkeeper Steph Panozzo recorded five saves against the Badgers while the Illinois defense, including starters Jenna Carosio, Kassidy Brown and Stephanie Pouse, teamed to hold Wisconsin to only eight shots on the day.
SoccerFest V - Oct. 3, 2010
The Orange and Blue earned their fourth SoccerFest victory behind a breakout performance from then-freshman Megan Pawloski, who provided both goals in the victory as first-year players provided all six points on the contest. Pawloski earned the initial tally in the 40th minute, taking a pass from classmate Vanessa DiBernardo before pushing a shot into the lower-left quadrant of the net. Only two minutes later, Pawloski netted the eventual game-winner following a cross from classmate Kassidy Brown. Pawloski used an acrobatic, leaping header shot to redirect the pass into the top-right corner of the net. Then-senior goalkeeper Alexandra Kapicka stopped two shots and the Illini defense limited Indiana to one goal to secure victory.
Illinois 2, Minnesota 2 (2OT)
Redshirt junior forward Christina Sahly got the motorcycle engines roaring in the 17th minute with the first goal of the contest. Sahly received a pass from junior forward Jordan Hilbrands inside the box and redirected the ball on net with one touch to put the Illini up 1-0. The Gophers tied the game in the 35th minute and pulled ahead 2-1 early in the second half. However, senior midfielder Jackie Santacaterina equalized the match, 2-2, in the 49th minute after stealing the ball from the Minnesota defense and curling a shot into the upper-right corner of the net. Senior goalkeeper Alexandra Kapicka stopped seven shots and the Illini defense clamped down for the remainder of contest to earn the tie.
#21 Illinois 1, Michigan 0
Sophomore forward Jordan Hilbrands tallied her first career goal in the 79th minute on an assist from Laura Knutson, as No. 21 Illinois defeated Michigan 1-0 at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. The Orange and Blue were playing before a crowd of 2,036 fans, the second-largest in school history. Illinois outshot the Wolverines 11-5 and won its 13th consecutive match at home.
Illinois 3, #24 Indiana 0
In what was truly the seniors' night for the Illinois soccer team, the Illini knocked off the No. 24 Indiana Hoosiers with a 3-0 win on Friday in front of 1,560 fans, the second largest crowd in history at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium. Senior goalkeeper Lindsey Carstens notched her 25th career shutout, breaking the school's all-time record, while senior forward Ella Masar tallied two goals and senior defender Mary Therese McDonnell added her first goal of the season.
#15 Illinois 3, #9 Penn State 2
Junior forward Ella Masar scored twice in 25 minutes to finish off an improbable comeback that capped a perfect Illini sports weekend as the No. 15 Illinois soccer team downed No. 9 Penn State 3-2 in front of a school-record 2,667 fans at Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium. The Illini rebounded from a 2-0 halftime deficit to defeat PSU for just the second time in school history and the first in the regular season.