Illinois soccer will attempt to break its attendance record on Sunday at the fourth annual SoccerFest
Sept. 23, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois soccer will host the fourth annual SoccerFest this Sunday, Sept. 27 at the Illinois Soccer Stadium, aiming to break its attendance record in the Big Ten opener. Pregame festivities will begin at 11:30 a.m., with the Illini's match against Minnesota starting at 1 p.m.
"SoccerFest is always an exciting time for us," Illini head coach Janet Rayfield said. "Our players love the event because they know what type of environment it is. We're excited to start the conference season off with what could turn out to be one of the best teams in the Big Ten. We want to get more people at a women's soccer game than ever before, and I'm challenging the Champaign-Urbana community to help us do that."
Admission to SoccerFest is free, with the event featuring free food for the first 2,000 fans, live music, a halftime performance by the U of I Drumline, giveaways and inflatable games for kids. New this year, all motorcycle owners are encouraged to bring their bikes and park them on the track around the field. Every time Illinois scores a goal, the motorcycle engines will roar, creating a unique game environment. The match will also be televised live on the Big Ten Network, with former Illini All-American Ella Masar featured as a sideline reporter.
Illinois is trying to eclipse 3,000 fans at SoccerFest, breaking the single game attendance record of 2,667 set at the first SoccerFest in 2006 in the Illini's 3-2 win over Penn State.
The Orange and Blue will enter Sunday's match with a 5-3-1 record after playing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation. Minnesota is the defending Big Ten co-champions, owning a record of 6-2-1 prior to its match against Iowa on Thursday.