Head coach Janet Rayfield's squad was picked to finish second by the Big Ten coaches.
Aug. 18, 2008
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The Illinois soccer team has been picked to finish second in the Big Ten preseason coaches' poll, as announced by the conference office on Monday. The Illini earned the No. 2 slot in the coaches' poll for the third-straight year after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2007.
The Orange and Blue look to make their sixth-consecutive NCAA appearance behind the veteran leadership of All-Big Ten first-team defender Emily Zurrer and All-Big Ten second-team midfielder Jackie Santacaterina. Illinois finished the 2007 campaign with a 12-7-2 record and returns five Illini who earned all-conference honors last season.
Penn State topped the preseason poll for the sixth-consecutive time. The Nittany Lions compiled a 2007 record of 18-4-2, winning the Big Ten regular season championship and making the NCAA Tournament for the 13th year in a row.
Illinois opens the regular season against the Missouri Tigers on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 5 p.m. in Columbia, Mo. The Orange and Blue return home the following weekend to host the Illini Challenge Cup presented by Gameday Spirit and Dish Network. Illinois will face Iowa State at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29, at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium, while a matchup between Pitt and Dayton will precede Illinois' home-opener at 5 p.m. The tournament wraps up on Sunday, Aug. 31, with consolation and championship matches beginning at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
Big Ten Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
1 Penn State 2 Illinois 3 Purdue 4 Indiana 5 Ohio State 6 Minnesota T-7 Michigan T-7 Michigan State 9 Wisconsin 10 Northwestern 11 Iowa