Aug. 27, 2014
...playing Arizona State for the second time ever
...traveling to Oakland for its first road match
...hosting Local Heroes Night and Camper Reunion on Friday
Hosting the Sun Devils
Taking on ASU: Illinois will play its third consecutive non-conference home game on Friday at 7 p.m. against Arizona State at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. The Illini and Sun Devils will square off for the second year in a row and all-time. ASU won the inaugural meeting last season when it defeated UI 4-3 in double overtime in Tempe.
Scouting the Sun Devils: Arizona State boasts a 1-0-1 record following its opening weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Sun Devils tied Texas 2-2 in their season opener and followed with a 5-2 victory over Hawaii. Freshman midfielder Aly Moon was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after posting a hat trick and an assist against Hawaii. ASU returned six regular starters from last year's team that went 9-8-2 and came just short of earning the program's fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in a five-year span. Included among the returning starters are junior forward and leading scorer Cali Farquharson (2013 All-Pac-12 Second Team, 2013 NSCAA All-Pacific Region Second Team) and junior defender McKenzie Berryhill (2013 All-Pac-12 Second Team, 2013 NSCAA All-Pacific Region Third Team).
Heading to Oakland
Series History: Illinois will travel to Rochester, Michigan, for its first road match of the season. The Illini and Grizzlies will battle at noon CT on Sunday at the OU Soccer Field. The two teams will meet for the third time in school history. UI earned a 3-0 victory in Champaign in 1998, while OU won the last meeting with a 1-0 win in Champaign in 2003.
Scouting the Grizzlies: Oakland is 0-2 on the season after falling at Western Michigan (4-0) and at No. 16 Notre Dame (3-0) to begin the year. The 2014 campaign marks the debut of first-year head coach Margaret Saurin who is only the second head coach in Oakland women's soccer history. Saurin went to OU after spending the previous seven seasons as head coach of the IPFW women's soccer program, where she was named The Summit League Coach of the Year in 2012. Oakland was picked second in the 2014 Horizon League Women's Soccer Preseason Poll.
Last Time Out
Illinois split its opening weekend of the year, falling 3-1 in the season opener to No. 16 Notre Dame (Aug. 22) before bouncing back with a 2-0 shutout of Louisville (Aug. 24). Freshman Abby Elinsky scored a goal in each game, while senior Jannelle Flaws found the net in game two.
In the opener, UI struck first, but No. 16 Notre Dame netted the final three goals to spoil the season and home opener at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. Elinsky scored the first goal of the year in the 23rd minute, but the Fighting Irish scored twice in the final six minutes in the first half and added another in the second stanza.
The Illini rebounded for their first win of the season with a 2-0 shutout of Louisville on a steamy Sunday at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. Elinsky connected for a goal off a corner kick late in the first half, while Flaws scored early in the second half. Sophomore goalkeepers Michelle Denley and Claire Wheatley each played a clean half in front of the net.
Splitting Time at Goalkeeper
Sophomores Michelle Denley and Claire Wheatley have shared time in goal during Illinois' first two matches. Denley has started both contests, making nine saves with five against Notre Dame and four against Louisville. Last year's starter Wheatley took over in the second half of both games and has made three saves total. The duo combined for the shutout of Louisville.
New Goalkeeper Coach Katie Hultin
Illinois features a new goalkeeper coach with Katie Hultin in her first year on staff. Hultin joins the Orange and Blue following a five-year stint with the Seattle University women's soccer team. She works with the Illini's three goalkeepers: sophomores Claire Wheatley and Michelle Denley and freshman Darci Dietrich.
Preseason National & Big Ten Polls
Illinois received votes in the NSCAA preseason poll and was just outside the Top 25 at 29th in the country heading into 2014. In the Big Ten preseason coaches' poll, Illinois was picked to finish seventh out of 14 teams, as new additions Maryland and Rutgers make their debuts. Senior Jannelle Flaws and juniors Taylore Peterson and Aliina Weykamp were named Preseason Players to Watch in the conference.
Breaking Down the Schedule
Illinois will play a challenging 2014 schedule, including contests against 10 NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. The Illini will face four opponents currently ranked in the NSCAA Week One poll in No. 8 Penn State, No. 10 Michigan, No. 11 Notre Dame and No. 19 Wisconsin. Illinois will make trips to both new members of the Big Ten, Maryland and Rutgers, as part of a new 13-game conference slate, and will travel nearly 6,000 miles round trip during the 2014 regular season (5,812 total miles).
Flaws on MAC Hermann Watch List
Senior Jannelle Flaws was selected to the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy watch list for the 2014 season, which is the most prestigious individual award in NCAA soccer. She also was named to Top Drawer Soccer's Preseason Best XI Second Team and a Big Ten Preseason Player to Watch. Flaws was an offensive force throughout the 2013 season, scoring 23 goals to lead the nation along with St. John's Rachel Daly. Her 23 goals also eclipsed the previous school record of 18 by Emily Brown in 1999. Flaws was a first-team All-Big Ten and All-Great Lakes Region selection along with being chosen as the University of Illinois Dike Eddleman Female Athlete of the Year.
Tracking Flaws' Career Records
Senior Jannelle Flaws sits in the top 10 in several career categories in the Illinois soccer record book. She ranks fifth in shots on goal (81), tied for fifth in goals (27), seventh in points (59) and 10th in shots (160). In Big Ten games only, she ranks fifth in goals (14) and seventh in points (30). During the 2014 season, she leads the Illini with six shots and scored her first goal against Louisville.
All-Time Wins Counter
Since becoming a varsity sport in 1997, the University of Illinois women's soccer team has compiled an overall record of 209-132-28 (.604) with 12 NCAA Tournament appearances in 17 seasons. Head coach Janet Rayfield (152-90-25) is responsible for 72 percent of those wins and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances in her 12 seasons at the helm.