Women's Soccer
DiBernardo Earns Conference Honors

Vanessa DiBernardo has notched at least two points per contest in 2010
Vanessa DiBernardo has notched at least two points per contest in 2010

Aug. 30, 2010

PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Illinois women's soccer midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for her one-goal performances during the Illini's victories over Wright State and Ball State. This honor is DiBernardo's first conference recognition of her collegiate career.

Against Wright State, DiBernardo notched the first goal of the match for Illinois in a contest where the Orange and Blue totaled 34 shots, the fifth-highest single-game total in the program's history. With the Illini dominating play through the opening 30 minutes, freshman Megan Pawloski launched the ball across the field and into the box using a front flip throw-in. DiBernardo raced toward the goal as the ball landed behind the Raiders' defense and blasted a shot past Wright State's keeper to put the Illini up, 1-0.

DiBernardo earned her first collegiate game-winning goal against Ball State, notching the first goal of the contest in the 16th minute of a pass from teammate Niki Read. DiBernardo controlled the ball on the right side of box and fired a shot low and into the left corner of the net for her team-leading third goal. The Naperville, Ill. native also leads the Illini in points (7), shots (13) and shots on goal (7). DiBernardo has recorded a goal in each of Illinois' three matches this season as the Illini hold a 3-0-0 record.

This is the second conference honor of the year for the Illini as senior Danielle Kot earned Defensive Player of the Week on Aug. 23. Read was the most recent recipient of Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for Illinois as she received the award on Sept. 7, 2009.

Illinois will take to the road to face Connecticut on Sept. 3 before traveling to Yale on Sept. 5. The Illini return to Illinois Soccer Stadium on Sept. 17 when they play host to LSU at 7 PM.