Women's Soccer
Illinois Travels to Ohio State to Begin Big Ten Play

Senior Megan Pawloski and the Illini will kick off the Big Ten season at Ohio State on Friday at 4 p.m.
Senior Megan Pawloski and the Illini will kick off the Big Ten season at Ohio State on Friday at 4 p.m.

Sept. 19, 2013

 Game 9: Illinois (5-2-1) at Ohio State (6-1-1)
 Date Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
 Time 4 p.m. CT
 Location Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium | Columbus, Ohio
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Watch Buckeye Vision
 Series History Ohio State leads 9-8-1
 Last Meeting Ohio State won 2-1 (11/4/12) in Big Ten Tournament

 Big Ten Opener Links
 Preview Interviews Coach Rayfield | Vanessa DiBernardo | Jannelle Flaws
 Social Media @IlliniSoccer   |  Facebook | Instagram
 Game Notes Illinois | Ohio State

Illinois is...
...leading the Big Ten with 28 goals (T-2nd in NCAA)
...beginning Big Ten play in Columbus
...4-0 when outshooting its opponent
...4-0-1 when scoring first & 5-1 when scoring 2 goals or more

Illini Open Big Ten Play at Ohio State
B1G Opener: After sweeping a pair of matches at home last week and earning its first shutout, Illinois will begin Big Ten play on the road at Ohio State. The Illini and Buckeyes will square off on Friday, Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. CT at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The tilt will be a rematch of last year's Big Ten Tournament title game and a showdown between the teams picked third (ILL) and fourth (OSU) in the Big Ten coaches preseason poll.

Series History: Illinois is 8-9-1 all-time against Ohio State. The Illini fell 2-1 to the Buckeyes in last year's Big Ten Tournament title game, coming up just short of repeating as tournament champions. The Orange and Blue won the last regular season meeting in 2012 with a 1-0 victory in Champaign. UI is 4-4 all-time in games in Columbus against OSU.

Scouting the Buckeyes: Ohio State finished non-conference play 6-1-1 and is receiving votes in the NSCAA Top-25 rankings. The Buckeyes have won their past three games following their only loss at Boston College (1-0), including two more shutouts bringing their season total to four. Ohio State ranks 11th in the Big Ten with 14 goals, but third in the conference with only five goals allowed. Individually, Nichelle Prince sits tied for fifth in the conference with five goals, tied for seventh with 14 points and, along with Michela Paradiso, tied for eighth with four assists. Jillian McVicker ranks third with a 0.48 goals-against average and a .882 save percentage while Rachel Middleman sits seventh with a 0.73 goals-against average and eighth with a .769 save percentage.

Where the Illini Rank Statistically
Illinois leads the Big Ten with 28 goals, which was tied with Virginia for the second-most in the nation in the latest NCAA statistical rankings. The Illini also rank in the top 10 in the country in scoring offense (7th, 3.50 goals per game) and assists (8th, 21). The Illini's 28 goals equals its second-highest mark through eight games behind only the 29 goals scored in the first eight games of the 1998 season. It also is just three goals shy of UI's season total from 2012 of 31 goals.

Individually, forward Jannelle Flaws is tied for ninth in the NCAA and second in the Big Ten with eight goals. Senior Vanessa DiBernardo is tied for second in the conference and eighth in the nation with six assists along with ranking second on the team with four goals. Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley is tied for first in the Big Ten with 35 saves.

Senior Megan Pawloski and junior Allie Osoba each are third on the Illini with three goals, while sophomores Nicole Breece and Regan Robishaw and freshman Casey Conine each have two goals. Four other Illini, sophomores Megan Green and Anastasia Medellin and freshmen Meegan Johnston and Allison Stucky, each scored their first career goals in 2013, bringing Illinois' total to 11 different goal scorers.

Last Time Out
Illinois improved to 4-0 at home following two wins last weekend at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. The Illini came back to defeat Indiana State, 3-2, on Friday followed by their first shutout in a 4-0 victory over Florida International on Sunday.

Illinois earned its second come-from-behind victory thanks to three second-half goals on Friday night, topping Indiana State, 3-2. The Illini trailed 1-0 at halftime, but stepped up their play on both sides of the ball in the second half, putting up three goals on the newly unveiled scoreboard and holding Indiana State to just three shots. UI's three goals came from Allie Osoba, Vanessa DiBernardo and Jannelle Flaws.

Illinois' first shutout of the season was highlighted by a pair of goals from both sophomore Reagan Robishaw and senior Megan Pawloski in a 4-0 victory over Florida International on Sunday afternoon. The Illini outshot the Panthers 29-7 in a physical match that featured a 15-6 difference in fouls by FIU.

Flaws Finds the Net Consistently
For the season, redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws has scored in five of eight games and is tied for second in the Big Ten in goals (8) and shots (35) and third in points (17). Her eight goals also rank in the top 10 in the NCAA. She entered the season with just three career goals after only playing in the 2011 season due to knee injuries sidelining her for the 2010 and 2012 seasons.

Flaws was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career on Sept. 3. The Glenview, Ill., native scored four goals on 13 shots in Illinois' pair of wins during its first home weekend, which included her first career hat trick on Sunday against Illinois State.

Flaws tallied the final goal on Friday in Illinois' 6-2 rout of College of Charleston, where UI notched its most goals ever in a home opener. On Sunday against ISU, she posted three goals, becoming the first Illini to record a hat trick since Niki Read against Ball State on Aug. 26, 2011.

Climbing the Record Book Charts
After leading the team in points, goals and shots in 2012, senior Vanessa DiBernardo has continued her charge to the top of the record books in 2013. With a team-high six assists this season, DiBernardo is tied with Tara Hurless for the most career assists in school history with 21. DiBernardo's 101 career points rank third on the all-time list behind Emily Brown (109) and Hurless (115), while her 40 career goals also rank third, once again behind the duo of Brown (46) and all-time leader Hurless (47). She also is chasing Hurless (325) in career shots, as the senior holds the No. 2 spot with 299. DiBernardo owns the top spot with her 137 career shots-on-goal, surpassing Hurless' 111 last year. In addition, DiBernardo's two game-winners last season brought her career total to 14, two behind all-time leader Hurless (16).

DiBernardo also has staked her claim as the best offensive player in Illinois history in Big Ten play-only. Her 20 career conference goals and 50 career conference points both rank first all-time. DiBernardo also closed the gap of conference career assists to two as she will begin the 2013 season with 10, behind Eva Strickland's and Hollie Schurr's 12.