Illini Welcome Indiana State, FIU This Weekend
Sept. 12, 2013
Illini Host Sycamores Friday Night
Scouting the Sycamores: Six starters returned from the 2012 team that finished 8-10-3 overall and tied for fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference regular season under fifth-year head coach Erika True. In 2013, the Sycamores sit at 2-3 while giving up seven goals and allowing seven goals. They defeated Georgia Southern, 2-1, in their season opener before being shutout by Butler, 3-0. After a 2-1 loss at Western Kentucky, ISU rebounded with a 4-0 win against Green Bay before most recently dropping a 1-0 decision at SIU-Edwardsville. Sophomore Kate Johnson leads the squad with two goals and two assists, while senior Taylor Reed also has added two goals.
Friday Promotions: Friday night's game will feature a pair of promotions with Camper Reunion and Illinois FC Night. Summer camp participants will get to meet with coach Rayfield before the game for a chalk talk and help form a tunnel for team introductions. As part of Illinois FC Night, Illinois FC youth players will help form a tunnel and scrimmage at halftime.
Illinois vs. FIU on Sunday at Home
Scouting the Panthers: Florida International returned 10 starters from its Conference USA champion squad from last year that finished 13-6-2 overall. In 2013 under seventh-year head coach Thomas Chestnutt, the Panthers are 2-3 and have been outscored 10-7. They opened the season with a 4-2 loss to Arizona followed by a 2-0 victory at Stetson. Following a 4-0 shutout loss to No. 8 Florida, FIU fell 2-1 to Florida Gulf Coast before rebounding with a 2-0 win over Cleveland State. Junior Ashleigh Shim leads the team with three goals, while sophomore Madlen Weinhardt has a pair of goals.
Sunday Promotions: At every Sunday home game this year, a special Fan Zone will be set-up with special games for fans one hour prior to the match. Face painting, a juggling contest, penalty kick practice, a radar gun and Bumper Ballz will be available for fans. Along with the Fan Zone, the Illini will host Youth Soccer Day, where youth soccer players are encouraged to wear their jersey and participate in a free clinic after the game.
Filling Up the Stat Sheet
Individually, forward Jannelle Flaws is tied for fourth in the NCAA and tops in the Big Ten with seven goals. Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley also leads the Big Ten with 31 saves, which is tied for 35th in the nation. Senior Vanessa DiBernardo ranks in the top 10 in the conference in both goals (3) and assists (3).
Junior Allie Osoba, sophomore Nicole Breece and freshman Casey Conine each have two goals, while four different Illini, sophomores Megan Green and Anastasia Medellin and freshmen Meegan Johnston and Allison Stucky, each scored their first career goals in 2013 and senior Megan Pawloski rounds out the Illini scoring with one goal this year.
Last Time Out
Minutes before 11 p.m. PT on Friday night, the thrilling double overtime match between Illinois and Arizona State came to a 4-3 end on the Sun Devils' golden goal in the 107th minute. UI battled back from a pair of deficits thanks to a penalty kick goal by senior Vanessa DiBernardo and two equalizers by redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws, but the Illini dropped their first double overtime decision of the season.
In their final game at the Sun Devil Classic on Sunday, Illinois went to double overtime again, but this time the Illini finished in a 1-1 tie against Arizona. Illinois' lone goal came off a strike by DiBernardo in the 64th minute, but the Wildcats responded in the 82nd minute with their only goal off a penalty kick.