Illinois Travels to Ohio State to Begin Big Ten Play
Sept. 19, 2013
Illini Open Big Ten Play at Ohio State
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
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 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
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
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.