Women's Soccer
Soccer Returns Home to Face Wisconsin

Sophomore Kassidy Brown scored the first goal of the spring season, tallying against Marquette on March 31.
Sophomore Kassidy Brown scored the first goal of the spring season, tallying against Marquette on March 31.

April 13, 2012

Janet Rayfield Spring Expectations Interview

Soccer Spring Season Notes

Illinois vs. Wisconsin
Sunday, April 15 // Champaign, Ill. // Illinois Soccer Stadium // Noon CT

Illinois Quick Facts
2011 Overall Record: 17-5-2
2011 Big Ten Record: 8-2-1 (second place)
2011 Postseason Finish: Big Ten Tournament Champions; NCAA Tournament Second Round
Illinois Coaching Staff: Head Coach Janet Rayfield (10th year) | Assistant Coach Leisha Alcia (fifth year) | Assistant Coach Jeff Freeman (first year)
Key Returnees: Midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo (17G, 5A, 39P), Forward Shayla Mutz (3G, 5A, 11P), Goalkeeper Steph Panozzo (2,224 Minutes, 0.97 GAA, 75 saves, 0.758 save pct.), Forward Megan Pawloski (6G, 2A, 14P), Midfielder/Forward Niki Read (5G, 7A, 17P)
Key Departures: Defender Jenna Carosio (Big Ten Defender of the Year; 3G, 6P), Defender/Midfielder Julie Ewing (5G, 2A, 12P), Midfielder Jackie Guerra (23 starts, 1,935 minutes, 1G, 1A, 3P), Midfielder Marissa Mykines (8G, 3A, 19P)

Wisconsin Quick Facts
2011 Overall Record: 10-7-3
2011 Big Ten Record: 5-3-3 (fourth place)
2011 Postseason Finish: Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals
Wisconsin Coaching Staff: Head Coach Paula Wilkins (fifth year) | Assistant Coach Patrick Farmer (third year) | Assistant Coach Tim Rosenfeld (fourth year)
Key Returnees: Forward Cara Walls (9 G, 1 A, 19 P), Midfielder Alev Kelter (4 G, 1 A, 9 P), Defender Catie Sessions (20 GP & GS, 5 A, 5 P)
Key Departures: Forward Laurie Nosbusch (6 G, 6 A, 18 P), Goalkeeper Michele Dalton (20 GP & GS, 1,866 minutes, 0.96 GAA, 20 GA, 98 saves, .831 save pct., 6 shutouts), Defender Meghan Flannery (20 GP & GS)

Quick Kicks
During the fall season, Illinois was...
• was undefeated in 12 straight games for the first time in program history, eclipsing the mark set by the 2003 Illini.
• went 15-0-0 when socring the first goal of the game.
• finished 11-1-1 when scoring at least two goals in a contest.
• won six games by 1-0 margins and 10 one-goal contests overall.
• 7-0 when playing perfect defense.

Last Time Out
The Illini traveled to Fenton, Mo., for a neutral sit match against the University of Missouri, falling 3-0 to the Tigers as part of the Parkway Collegiate Showcase. Illinois was unable to generate the scoring offense that allowed the squad to battle back from a one-goal deficit against Marquette in the spring opener. The Orange and Blue and Missouri have made a habit out of testing each other in exhibition play, with the squads meeting outside of the fall regular season three times in the previous two seasons.

Illini Tie Marquette In Spring Opener, 2-2
The Orange and Blue opened their spring slate at Illinois Soccer Stadium with a 2-2 tie against Marquette on Saturday, March 31. Sophomore defender Kassidy Brown and junior forward Shayla Mutz each scored once for the Illini. Sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo and sophomore forward Megan Pawloski recorded one assist each in the contest.

Illinois scored first with 16 minutes remaining in the opening half. DiBernardo used a corner kick to find Brown in the Marquette goalie box, with Brown re-directing the pass into the lower-left corner of the netting. After Marquette responded with a pair of goals for a 2-1 advantage, Pawloski found Mutz for the second Illini tally, with Mutz using a diving header to push the ball into the back of the net to reach the final score.

Representing The Red, White and Blue
Illinois head coach Janet Rayfield and sophomore All-American midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo participated in the 2012 U-20 World Cup Qualifying Tournament with Team USA, with both aiding the U.S. in its championship run. DiBernardo served as one of six midfielders on the squad, earning five points on two goals and an assist. DiBernardo tallied USSoccer.com Woman of the Match honors following her performance against host-Panama as DiBernardo recorded a goal and an assist in the match. Rayfield served as one of two assistant coaches on Steve Swanson's staff throughout the duration of the two-week trip, responsible for technical training, scouting and assisting in game planning.

Both DiBernardo and Rayfield have accrued considerable time with the U.S. national side recently. DiBernardo trained with the U-20 and U-23 programs in California over the summer and was elected to the U-20 team that swept through the Four Nations Tournament this past winter. Rayfield has served as a technical adviser and scout for the U.S. Women's National Team, including working with the squad during the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany after previously holding a position as a National Staff Coach for U.S. Soccer - Region II from 2000-02.

Welcome To The Orange and Blue
Redshirt-freshman transfer Shannon Roche will see her first time against a collegiate opponent as a member of the Illini when Illinois hosts Marquette. Roche joined the team before the start of the spring semester and participated in the Illini 7-on-7 Tournament in early March. Roche comes to the Illini with a proven record of success at the high school and club levels. Roche anchored the defense at one of the most successful scholastic programs in the nation, The Pennington School (N.J.), earning four lerrers while accumulative a career record of 70-5-9, including 50 shutouts. A native of Yardley, Pa., Roche won four consecutive Prep A State and Mercer County Tournament Championships at The Pennington School and was the 2010 Star Ledger and Trentonian New Jersey Player of the Year. Roche also led her club team, the Players Development Academy, to a No. 1 ranking among girls club soccer teams in the country while winning state and regional championships on five occasions, including the 2006 U.S. Club National and 2010 ECNL National Championships.

Settled In Between The Posts
Junior Steph Panozzo was tabbed the starting goalkeeper prior to the start of the 2011 season and stepped up her play when the Illini needed it most in the fall, against Big Ten opponents and during postseason play. Panozzo finished with the season with 2,214 minutes in net, owning a 0.98 goals-against average and a .758 saves percentage with shutting out eight opponents. Panozzo was even stronger as Illinois fought from a 0-2-1 start in Big Ten play to rattle off eight consecutive victories, climbing from tied for 10th in the conference standings to alone in second entering the postseason. Panozzo turned aside 32 shots in Big Ten games, only allowing nine goals in 1,026 minutes for a 0.79 goals-against average. Panozzo also shut out Purdue, Michigan State in double overtime, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Northwestern in succession during the regular season before tallying Big Ten Defensive Player of the Tournament as Illinois tallied the 2011 Big Ten Tournament Title at Northwestern's Lakeside Field.

High Octane Offense
In 2011, the Illini owned 142 points on 53 goals and 36 assists - the most points ever recorded during the Janet Rayfield era. The Orange and Blue have achieved this feat through consistently scoring goals, while producing tallies in excess on occasion to supplement the total.

Illinois earned its most points in any individual season during the 1998 campaign, when the Illini totaled 161 points over the 20-game campaign. Illinois has also topped the 100-point plateau in 2000 (158 points), 1999 (133), 2006 (123), 2004 (119), 2001 (113), 2007 (112), 2003 (110), 1997 (107) and 2002 (104).

Under Rayfield, the previous best was the 119 points earned in 2004 as the Illini made their way to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. As a testament to the Illini's consistent production this season, Illinois recorded at least one tally in all but two contests this season, one of only two postseason-bound Big Ten teams held to fewer than three shutouts this year, with No. 8 Penn State joining the Orange and Blue.

Accolades All Around
Illinois totaled more than 70 individual accolades spread across 14 different players over the course of the 2011 season, here is a list of the awards won by each Orange and Blue player.

2011 Accolades By Illini
Kassidy Brown - Academic All-Big Ten
Jenna Carosio - Big Ten Defender of the Year ... All-Big Ten First Team ... NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region First Team ... Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 10) ... Top Drawer Soccer Big Ten Top-20 Conference Player (#18) ... Soccer America Team of the Week (Oct. 10) ... College Soccer 360 Primetime Performer (Oct. 18) ... NSCAA Second Team Academic All-America ... Capital One Academic All-District Third Team ... Academic All-Big Ten
Nicole Denenberg - Academic All-Big Ten
Vanessa DiBernardo - NSCAA Second Team All-America ... MAC Hermann Trophy Candidate ... Big Ten Midfielder of the Year ... All-Big Ten First Team ... NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region First Team ... Big Ten All-Tournament Team ... Two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (Aug. 22 & Oct. 10) ... Top Drawer Soccer Top-100 National Player (#32) and Big Ten Top-20 Conference Player (#5) ... Big Ten Conference "Player To Watch" ... Two-time Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America Team of the Week (Aug. 22 & Oct. 3) ... Two-time Chicagoland Soccer News Player of the Week (Aug. 22 & Oct. 3) ... Illini/Boilermaker Challenge and LSU Invitational All-Tournament Team ... Academic All-District Second Team ... Academic All-Big Ten
Caitlin Dombart - Academic All-Big Ten
Julie Ewing - Big Ten Conference "Player To Watch" ... Top Drawer Soccer Top-20 Conference Player (#14) ... Academic All-Big Ten
Christina Farrell - Academic All-Big Ten
Jannelle Flaws - Big Ten All-Freshman Team ... Academic All-Big Ten
Kristen Gierman - Big Ten Sportsmanship Honoree
Jackie Guerra - LSU Invitational All-Tournament Team
Shayla Mutz - Academic All-Big Ten
Marissa Mykines - Big Ten Tournament Offensive MVP ... Big Ten All-Tournament Team ... Second Team All-Big Ten ... NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team ... College Soccer 360 Primetime Player of the Week (Nov. 9) ... Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week (Nov. 7) ... Big Ten Conference "Player To Watch" ... Illini/ Boilermaker Challenge All-Tournament Team ... Academic All-Big Ten
Steph Panozzo - Big Ten Tournament Defensive MVP ... Big Ten All-Tournament Team ... Two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 17 & Oct. 24) ... Chicagoland Soccer News Player of the Week (Oct. 18) ... Academic All-Big Ten
Megan Pawloski - LSU Invitational All-Tournament Team ... Chicagoland Soccer News Player of the Week (Sept. 11) ... Academic All-District Third Team ... Academic All-Big Ten
Stephanie Pouse - Big Ten All-Freshman Team
Niki Read - Chicagoland Soccer News Player of the Week (Aug. 29) ... College Soccer 360 Primetime Player (Nov. 15) ... Illini/Boilermaker Challenge All-Tournament Team