Women's Soccer
Illinois wins 7v7 tournament, Brown named 2000 Team MVP

Emily Brown was named the Team MVP
Emily Brown was named the Team MVP

The Illinois soccer team won their own 7v7 indoor tournament on Feb. 17. The ten-team tournament featured club and college teams from across the Midwest.

The Illini began training just a week prior to the tournament. The majority of the team returns for next year. Julie Schueller and Laura Lantz were the only seniors on last year's team.

The seven-on-seven tournaments are played on a shorter field, for two 15-minute halves. The Illini defeated Illinois State, 4-3, Elmhurst College, 6-1, Hammer FC, 6-3, and the Wolfpack, 5-0, in pool play. Then in bracket play, Illinois shut out Eastern Illinois, 7-0, and edged Dayton, 2-1, for the championship.

The tournament was played in the new Irwin Practice Facility with state-of-the-art turf. "The facility is fantastic," said Illini coach Tricia Taliaferro. "The turf is much more game like."

"After one week, we're pleased with how the team has progressed," the coach added. "The improvement from last year isn't not night and day, but certainly (after last year's NCAA Tournament season) our confidence is higher. We're more flexible than we have been. It's good to win our tournament for the second straight year." o Illinois held its annual banquet on Feb. 2 with five special awards being handed out. Emily Brown was named Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Offensive Player. She led the Illini with 15 goals and five assists and earned First Team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight year.

Meghan Kolze earned Most Valuable Defensive Player Award, freshman Sarah Anderson the Most Improved Player Award, and Laura Lantz earned the Jeremy Daly Award.

Kolze started all 22 games in the Illini backfield and led a defense that gave up just 27 goals in 22 games. Anderson took over for the injured Sarah Heggen and started 12 games. She had five shutouts and posted a 0.98 goals-against average. Lantz, one of only two members left of the original Illini soccer team won the Jeremy Daly Award, which is given for outstanding character and commitment to Excellence.