Women's Soccer


SoccerFest 2014: Illinois vs. Purdue

Sunday, Sept. 21 // 1 p.m. // Illinois Soccer Stadium // Gates open at 12 p.m.

    • Free admission
    • Free Jimmy John's for the first 1,000 fans
    • Bounce house
    • Face painting, poster-making stations and post-game autographs


One of the many kids who came out to enjoy SoccerFest 2010.

Quick Facts on SoccerFest

  • The Illini have outscored opponents 14-12 in contests held in conjunction with SoccerFest.
  • SoccerFest accounts for seven of the eight highest single-game attendance figures in program history.
  • Former Illini forward Ella Masar (2004-07) holds the record for most goals in a SoccerFest contest (two each in 2006 and 2007), total goals (4) and points (8). Current senior Megan Pawloski produced two goals during SoccerFest 2010, tying her with Masar for most in a single contest, and recorded one goal against Wisconsin in 2011. Current redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws also collected a pair of goals at the 2013 SoccerFest, equaling the record held by Masar and Pawloski. Former Illini Mary Therese McDonnell (2004-07), Chichi Nweke (2006-09), Jackie Santacaterina (2006-09), Christina Sahly (2006-10) and Jordan Hilbrands (2007-10) each have one goal. 


History of Soccerfest

SoccerFest 2013: Nebraska 3, Illinois 2 | Highlights | Photos

SoccerFest 2012: #11 Penn State 4, Illinois 0 | Photos

SoccerFest 2011: Illinois 1, Wisconsin 0 | Highlights | Photos

SoccerFest 2010: #21 Illinois 2, Indiana 1 | Highlights | Photos

SoccerFest 2009: Illinois 2, Minnesota 2 | Photos

SoccerFest 2008: #21 Illinois 1, Michigan 0

SoccerFest 2007: Illinois 3, #24 Indiana 0

SoccerFest 2006: #15 Illinois 3, #9 Penn State 2 | Photos

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 barbecue-style event the whole family could enjoy. In the eight SoccerFest games, Illinois boasts a 5-2-1 record with seven of the top eight 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 Fans eagerly await another goal from the Illini.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." In 2011, the Illini kept the undefeated streak alive when they downed Wisconsin 1-0 in front of a crowd of 1,138 fans. Pawloski recorded her third SoccerFest goal of her career. In 2012, the Illini fell for the first time at SoccerFest, dropping a 4-0 decision to No. 11 Penn State. Illinois dropped the most recent SoccerFest contest in 2013, falling 3-2 to Nebraska in front of 1,526 fans with both goals coming from Jannelle Flaws in the span of a minute and a half in the second half.

Year-By-Year Recap of SoccerFest

SoccerFest VIII - Sept. 29, 2013 (Attendance: 1,526)

Nebraska 3, Illinois 2
Illinois mounted a second-half comeback and tied it thanks to two goals by redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws, but Nebraska tallied the game-winning goal in the 61st minute, as the Illini fell 3-2 to the Huskers in front of 1,526 fans at the eighth-annual SoccerFest. Flaws scored twice in under a minute and a half, but it wasn't enough as Nebraska struck last.

SoccerFest VII - Sept. 23, 2012 (Attendance: 751)

#11 Penn State 4, Illinois 0
At the seventh annual Illini SoccerFest, Illini fans were treated to great weather, free food, inflatables and an afternoon game of soccer, but the Illini dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 11 Penn State. It marked the first time the Illini fell at SoccerFest.

SoccerFest VI - Oct. 16, 2011 (Attendance: 1,138)

Illinois 1, Wisconsin 0
Fans eagerly await another goal from the Illini.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 CarosioKassidy Brown and Stephanie Pouse, teamed to hold Wisconsin to only eight shots on the day.

SoccerFest V - Oct. 3, 2010 (Attendance: 1,328)

#21 Illinois 2, Indiana 1

Fans eagerly await another goal from the Illini.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.

SoccerFest IV - Sept. 27, 2009 (Attendance: 2,347)

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.

SoccerFest III - Oct. 5, 2008 (Attendance: 2,036)

#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.

SoccerFest II - Oct. 19, 2007 (Attendance: 1,560)

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.

SoccerFest I - Oct. 1, 2006 (Attendance: 2,667)

#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.

Great camerawork by photographer Cary Frye showed the atmoshpere of SoccerFest 2010 from a view few get to see.