Sophomore midfielder Vanessa Dibernardo is among the nation's leaders in goals, points, goals per game, points per game and game-winners.
Sept. 16, 2011
Game 9: #23 Illinois (6-2-0) at (RV) Iowa (8-0-0)
Sunday, Sept. 18 // 1 p.m. CT // Iowa Soccer Complex // Iowa City, Iowa
Live Statistics: Available on fightingillini.com
Illinois leads the all-time series, 11-5. (Last meeting: #17 Illinois 2, Iowa 1 (OT); Oct. 16, 2010)
Just For Kicks
... scored five or more goals in three consecutive games (Gonzaga, Toledo, Ball State) for the first time in program history.
... scored five or more goals in four separate games during the 2011 season for the first time since 2000.
... has won its last 69 games when scoring three or more goals, dating back to the 1999 season.
... opened a season with four consecutive victories for the first time since 2008 and sixth season overall.
... is 6-1-0 when scoring at least two goals in a game.
... is 4-0-0 when playing a day game.
... finished 6-2-0 in non-conference play, the fifth consecutive and 13th overall season Illinois started the Big Ten schedule with a winning non-conference mark. ... played the 300th game in program history at Louisville, accumulating a 174-108-19 record in the process (.612 winning %).
Fighting Illini Media Coverage
The University of Illinois soccer squad will receive considerable coverage from local and regional media outlets throughout the 2011 regular season, with live broadcasts of contests featured on the Big Ten Network and the Illini Sports Network - WDWS 1400AM in addition to print weekly coverage in the Daily Illini and News-Gazette. In total, two Illini contests will be featured on the conference's television network, while WDWS will carry five home matches.
Illinois' home-opener against Gonzaga will be broadcast by WDWS, with Brian Moline and Tim Ditman calling the game from Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium. The Illini Sports Network will also cover the Orange and Blue's match-ups with USC (9/2), Purdue (10/2), Minnesota (10/14) and Wisconsin (10/16).
The Big Ten Network will show a delayed broadcast of Illinois' contest at Michigan State on Oct. 8, with the game airing on the network on Oct. 9. The following weekend, the BTN will broadcast live from Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium during SoccerFest 2011 as Illinois hosts the Wisconsin Badgers at 3 p.m. on Oct. 16. Big Ten Student U will broadcast one additional contest, when Illinois hosts Minnesota on Oct. 14.
Illinois on the Big Ten Network
at Michigan State // Oct. 9 at Noon*
vs. Wisconsin // Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m.
Illinois on Student U
vs. Minnesota // Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.
Illinois on WDWS AM 1400
vs. Gonzaga // Friday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.
vs. USC // Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
vs. Purdue // Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m.
vs. Minnesota // Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.
vs. Wisconsin // Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m.
Last Time Out
The University of Illinois soccer team split its two-game series at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, La. Illinois dropped a game to No. 13 nationally-ranked Pepperdine, 4-2, before routing Oregon, 5-0. With the blowout win over the Ducks, Illinois notched their fourth five-goal contest of the season, the first time in a single year the Illini earned five goals in four or more games since 2000.
Against Pepperdine, the 13th-ranked team in the nation earned a 2-0 lead entering half; however, Megan Pawloski cut into the deficit with a goal at the 55:43 mark following a pass from Shalya Mutz. After the Waves recorded two more tallies, Jannelle Flaws added her first collegiate goal to reach the final score, taking a pass from Pawloski before drilling shot into the left side of the net.
Looking to return to their winning ways, the Illini crushed Oregon to re-establish its offensive prominence. Senior midfielder Jackie Guerra recorded her first collegiate goal in the 17th minute to break the scoreless tie, driving a shot off the crossbar and into the back of the net. Classmate Julie Ewing followed in the 40th minute with her third tally of the season, taking a pass from freshman Stephanie Pouse and converting it with a shot from 10 yards away. Entering the second half with a two-goal advantage, Pawloski turned the contest into a rout with a pair of goals separated by only six minutes of action. Pawloski earned the third goal of the game following a pass from junior Niki Read before one-timing a Jannelle Flaws cross over Oregon's keeper for the fourth mark. Sophomore Vanessa DiBernardo added the final tally of the game on a free kick, placing a 25-yard shot into the left side for the fifth and final goal.
The Orange and Blue head to Iowa City, Iowa, to face the University of Iowa (8-0-0) on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 1 p.m. CT, in the first conference match for both teams. The Hawkeyes enter the contest with the best start in team history. Iowa is led by two-time freshman of the week Cloe Lacasse's nine goals and three assists (21 points). Katie Nasenbenny and Leah DeMoss follow with eight points on four goals each, while Alex Melin and Dana Dalrymple each earned eight points on three goals and two assists.
On defense, senior Emily Moran earned all eight starts and victories, owning a 0.56 goals-against average in 642 minutes of action. Moran has held opponents to four goals, while stopping 22 shots in the process (.846 save pct.). Caitlin Schnorbach and Kiley Beck have split the remainder of the 79 minutes almost evenly, with Beck earning 39:49 in net and Schnorbach totaling 38:21. In total, the Iowa goalkeeping unit has allowed five goals in 720 minutes for a 0.62 goals-against average.
As a team, Iowa is outscoring opponents, 29-5, and outshooting foes, 155-55. The Hawkeyes have totaled 36 corner kicks while limiting opponents to 19 chances and Iowa has been flagged for 83 fouls, including two yellow cards, to its opponents' 70 penalties. Illinois and Iowa last met on Oct. 16, 2010, when the Illini earned a come-from-behind victory in overtime, 2-1, over the Hawkeyes. Iowa tallied the first goal of the contest on a penalty kick at the 69:36 mark, with Gabrielle Ainsworth converting on the play. As time ran down and the Illini appeared to be on their way to their first home loss of the season; however, Ainsworth was called for a foul in the 18-yard box, which allowed then-senior Krystin Miller to tie the contest on a PK attempt at the 87:06 mark. After playing out the remainder of regulation without another tally, Shayla Mutz provided the overtime heroics that sent the Orange and Blue to victory. Then-senior Danielle Kot found current-junior Niki Read with a pass out of the midfield. Read immediately redirected the pass to Mutz, who converted a shot low and to her left to secure the sudden-death victory.
Over the 16-game series between the two teams, Illinois has come away victorious on 11 occasions, including seven of the previous eight meetings, dating back to the 2003 season. Over the course of the 16 contests, the Illini have outscored Iowa, 37-22, while shutting out the Hawkeyes in five matches.
Nods of Approval
Through the 2011 non-conference slate, the Illini have been recognized as a talented team among the nation's leaders. After debuting at No. 24 in the official NSCAA poll, the Orange and Blue now sit at No. 23 overall following their 6-2-0 record through the first four weeks. Illinois is also featured at No. 27 in Top Drawer Soccer's Tournament 64, a breakdown of the squads that TDS believes will reach the upcoming NCAA Tournament. While the Illini receive national recognition as a squad the Big Ten Conference, Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America have singled out sophomore Vanessa DiBernardo. The conference named DiBernardo the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Aug. 22 as the Naperville, Ill., native leads the conference in goals and points while Chicagoland Soccer followed suit by naming DiBernardo as its player of the week. Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America also added DiBernardo on their respective Team of the Week listings, the only Big Ten student-athlete to earn both awards. Chicagoland Soccer also recognized the Illini the following week, with Niki Read taking home player of the week honors on Aug. 29 following her hat trick at Ball State.
DiBernardo was also recognized as an all-tournament selection for the Illini/Boilermaker Challenge as well as the LSU Invitational, along with teammates Niki Read and Marissa Mykines (Illini/Boilermaker Challenge) and Megan Pawloski and Jackie Guerra (LSU Invitational).
Where's It Going To Come From?
While Vanessa DiBernardo has led the charge with an Illinois-best nine goals and one assist, the Illinois offense opened the season with a team-wide outburst to record 71 points in only eight games.
Niki Read opened the season strong, producing a goal and assist against Gonzaga before tallying a seven-point contest at Ball State. Against the Cardinals, Read produced a hat trick and an assist to become one of only five Illini to ever record seven or more points in a single game, matching her 2010 points total of 10 in the process. Read added an assist on DiBernardo's first goal against Colorado and added another on a Megan Pawloski goal against Oregon for a career-high 12 points.
Marissa Mykines earned a goal and two assists against Gonzaga to match DiBernardo's four-point output versus the Bulldogs. Mykines then followed with an insurance goal against Toledo, extending Illinois' lead to 3-1 while matching her 2010 season points output of six. Mykines has since surpassed her previous year's output by contributing a game-tying goal vs. Colorado to earn eight points on the year.
Megan Pawloski owns nine points on four goals and an assist, including a multi-goal game against Oregon. Julie Ewing follows with a career-best three goals, recording one each against Gonzaga, Toledo and Oregon.
Shayla Mutz earned the game-winning goal in overtime at Louisville, while adding an assist on a Pawloski goal against No. 13 Pepperdine. Allie Osoba and Stephanie Pouse produced their first collegiate goals against Toledo and Ball State, respectively, with each securing it on their only shot to date, while Pouse has since added an assist to tally three points on the year. Marissa Holden has contributed two points on a pair of assists, one at Louisville and the other against USC.
High Octane Offense
Eight games through the 2011 season, Illinois posted 71 points on 28 goals and 15 assists - the second-most productive eight game stretch to open a season in program history and best during the Janet Rayfield era. Previously, the Illini posted 80 points through the opening eight contests during the 1998 season. Following the 2011 season's 71-point outburst, the next closest show of offensive force during Rayfield's tenure as head coach comes in 2007, when Illinois put up 54 points en route to the fifth of six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
In the most recent NCAA statistical release, this output placed the Illini tied for fourth in the nation for scoring offense, while sophomore Vanessa DiBernardo earned national standings in a number of categories. DiBernardo ranks tied for first in game-winning goals (4), tied-third for total goals (9), tied-ninth in total points (19), tied-11th in goals per game (1.125), and 14th in the nation in points per game (2.38)
To achieve the current feat, the Illini dropped Gonzaga and Toledo by identical scores, 5-1. The Orange and Blue then shut down Ball State, 5-0, before winning an overtime match, 2-1, at Louisville. Following a 3-1 defeat against UCS, the Illini returned to their high-scoring ways with a 3-2 win over Colorado. After suffering a loss to No. 13 Pepperdine, 4-2, to open LSU Invitational action, Illinois responded with a 5-0 drubbing of Oregon in its final non-conference match of the season Illinois currently leads the Big Ten in goals scored (28), is second for goals per game (3.50) and third in points (71) and points per game (8.88). With nine goals and an assist, DiBernardo is tied for the fourth-best scorer in the Big Ten in terms of points (19) and is tied for second overall in goals scored. DiBernardo also ranks among the top-10 in per game offensive output, recording the sixth-best points per game (2.38) and goals per game (1.12) tallies.