Aug. 17, 2000
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.- Illinois opens the 2000 soccer season Saturday with a pre-season scrimmage with Marquette. Kickoff is 7 p.m. Admission is free to the public. Although the game does not count toward the season record, the match-up should be intriguing. Marquette starts the season ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Division I regional rankings according to Soccer Buzz magazine. Illinois is ranked sixth in the Great Lakes region.
The Marquette-Illini contest is a rematch of last year's season opener, which saw Illinois down the Eagles 3-1. Emily Brown scored the first ever goal at the new Illinois Soccer Field just 6:09 into the match redirecting a shot by Sarah Rowland. Lisa Baldwin added the next Illini goal later in the first half on an assist from Lindsay Johnson. Rowland assisted Tara Schuling for the game's final goal.
Illinois finished last season 12-8-2, tying the school record for most wins in a season, reaching as high 15th in the national rankings and winning the school's first-ever Big Ten tournament game. The Illini return 10 starters, including three all-conference players from a year ago.
"Practices have been very competitive," said Illinois coach Tricia Taliaferro. "We're looking forward to playing someone other than ourselves and are anxious to see where we are heading into the regular season opener next week."
Illinois opens the regular year Aug. 25 at Eastern Illinois. Kickoff is 4 p.m.