Head Coach Janet Rayfield and the Illini look to finish non-conference road matches strong with a win at Cincinnati
Sept. 9, 2010
• 78-32-4 in non-conference matches.
• 33-27-2 in three seasons when winning four of the opening five contests of the season.
• 154-95-15 in 13 seasons when accumulating at least a three-game win streak.
• 4-4-0 in games played in Ohio.
LAST TIME OUT
The Illini finished 1-1-0 in their trip to Connecticut, dropping a double-overtime contest to UConn, 2-1, on Sept. 3 before shutting out Yale, 1-0, on Sept. 5. Against UConn, senior forward Jordan Hilbrands notched the second goal of her season with a header in the 73rd minute. UConn rallied in overtime, with Jessica Shufelt notching a goal in the 104th minute - her second of the game - to seal the Huskies' victory.
The Illini bounced back against Yale on Sept. 5, notching their third shutout of the season, 1-0. Hilbrands again scored on a header from inside the box, her third goal in as many contests. Sophomore Steph Panozzo and senior Alexandra Kapicka split time in net, combining to make 7 saves to earn the clean sheet.
The Cincinnati Bearcats have opened their season with a strong showing, earning a record of 5-0-1 overall as well as 2-0-0 at home at Gettler Stadium. The Bearcats are on a three-game winning streak since earning a double-overtime tie, 0-0, with Northwestern.
The Bearcats' offense is led by Emily Hebbler's three goals and one assist. Kelli Pawelko is second in points with three on one goal and one assist. Senior Rachel Barnette has started and played the entirety of each contest in net, allowing two goals over the five contests while making 18 saves.
Cincinnati has faced two other Big Ten teams during 2010, taking down Wisconsin, 1-0, in addition to their tie with Northwestern. In their most recent game, the Bearcats earned a shutout victory, 1-0, over Western Michigan.
On the season, the Bearcats have outscored opponents, 7-2, earned a slightly positive shot margin, 67-63, and taken 28 corner kicks while allowing 24.
DOMINATING THE CONFERENCES
Under head coach Janet Rayfield, the Illini are a combined 10-1-1 against Horizon League and Mid-American Conference opponents. In 2010, the Orange and Blue opened with wins against Horizon League foes Loyola-Chicago, 2-0, and Wright State, 3-1, before taking down Mid-American opponent Ball State, 3-0. In 2010, the Illini have outshot Horizon League and MAC opponents, 73-17, and outscored them, 8-1.
THE #1 SPOT
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) ranked the Illini #1 for the Great Lakes region for the first time in program history on Sept. 7. Illinois, currently 4-1-0, sits ahead of seven other Big Ten programs, including Minnesota (3rd), Michigan State (4th), Ohio State (5th) and Penn State (6th). The Illini have been ranked #2 in the Great Lakes on 12 occasions, three times in 2009, twice in 2008 and during seven weekly rankings in 2006.
ILLINOIS TV AND RADIO BROADCASTS
The Illini are currently slated to appear on the Big Ten Network at Michigan on Oct. 31 while their Sept. 17 contest against LSU will be streamed live on Student U. WDWS Radio will be performing radio broadcasts of the Orange and Blue throughout the season as well. Below is a current list of the scheduled television and radio broadcasts:
Illinois on the Big Ten Network
Sunday, Oct. 31 at Michigan // 2 p.m.
Illinois on Student U
Friday, Sept. 17 vs. LSU // 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 1 vs. Purdue // 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 24 vs. Penn State // 1 p.m.
Illinois on WDWS AM 1400
Friday, Sept. 17 vs. LSU 10 p.m. // (Delay)
Saturday, Oct. 16 vs. Iowa // 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 24 vs. Penn State // 1 p.m.
The Illini sit at 4-1-0 through the first five contests of 2010, their best opening mark since starting 2008 with an identical record. The Illini concluded 2008 with a record of 12-9-2 overall and 5-5-0 in the Big Ten - earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16.
Through five contests, the Illini have dominated each statistical category. The Orange and Blue have outscored opponents, 10-3, outshot the competition, 107-39 and earned 32 corner kick opportunities against only eight allowed. The Illini average two goals per game while allowing only 0.60 per contest. On average, Illinois produces more than 22 shots per contest while opponents earn less than eight.
SPLITTING TIME IN NET
Sophomore Steph Panozzo and senior Alexandra Kapicka have each spent one half of the Illini's five matches in net. Panozzo has played the first half of every match, earning the first five starts of her career. Kapicka has closed each contest after assuming goalie duties at halftime. Combined, the duo of keepers have stopped 20 shots while only allowing three tallies for a goals-against average of 0.58 per game. Panozzo and Kapicka have also combined for three shutouts through the opening three weeks of the season.
Through the past three games, senior forward Jordan Hilbrands has notched one goal in each to earn a tie for first among Illini in goals scored. Hilbrands, the active career goals leader on Illinois, is also first in total shots and shots on goal and second in points.
Hilbrands is the first Illini upperclassman to record a goal each in three consecutive contests since Tara Hurless accomplished the feat in 2004. More recently, sophomore Jessica Bayne notched one goal in three straight games during the 2005 season and freshman Vanessa DiBernardo scored one each against Loyola-Chicago, Wright State and Ball State this season.
On defense, senior Danielle Kot continued her consecutive games started streak, pushing her current run to 60 games. For the 2010 season, she has played every minute through the initial five matches and has recorded one goal and one assist.
DISHING IT OUT
Sophomore forward Niki Read currently leads the Illini in assists with three, one more than she accumulated over 19 games in 2009. Read finished 2009 with three goals and two assists and earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on Sept. 7, 2009. Read now has three goals and five assists to total 11 points in 22 career games.