Illini to Host Iowa Friday, Nebraska Sunday for SoccerFest
Sept. 26, 2013
First Illini Big Ten Home Weekend
Series History vs. Iowa: Illinois leads the all-time series over Iowa, 12-5-1. The Illini are 7-0 all-time in games played in Champaign against the Hawkeyes and are 8-1-1 in the last 10 games vs. Iowa since 2003. Last season, the Fighting Illini edged the Hawkeyes, 2-1, in Champaign when Iowa was ranked No. 25 nationally. That game marked the first official appearance of head coach Janet Rayfield and midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo with the Orange and Blue squad after winning the U20 World Cup in Japan with Team USA. DiBernardo scored the Illini's first goal of the match and Nicole Breece netted the eventual game winner with Megan Pawloski producing the assists on both plays.
Scouting the Hawkeyes (RPI: 96): Iowa boasts an 8-1 record after going undefeated during nonconference play and falling to No. 15 Michigan last weekend. The Hawkeyes have only allowed six goals all season and goalkeeper Hannah Clark has totaled five shutouts, including a scoreless streak of 435:36 with four straight shutouts. In nine games, Iowa has more than doubled the shot output of its opponents, 150-65. The Hawkeyes have limited the opposition to 28 shots on goal and a .092 shot percentage. Offensively, Iowa has a 17-6 advantage in goals, led by three goals each from Ashley Catrell, Melanie Pickert and Alex Melin.
2003 Big Ten Tournament Champs: The 2003 Illinois women's soccer team will return to Champaign this weekend to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the program's first Big Ten Tournament title. Members of the championship team will be recognized at halftime along with fellow alumni who are back for the reunion weekend. The 2003 team defeated Michigan, 2-0, to win the conference tournament title in Madison, Wis., clinching the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Illini finished the season 16-4-2 and allowed only 12 goals all year, which is still the school record for fewest in a season. The Orange and Blue were led by All-Americans Leisha Alcia, who totaled a school-record 12 shutouts that season, and Tara Hurless, who holds the school record with 47 career goals.
SoccerFest on Sunday vs. Huskers
SoccerFest History: The Illini have had considerable success during each SoccerFest event, recording a 5-1-1 record in the previous seven contests held in conjunction with SoccerFest. The Illini opened the inaugural event with a three-goal comeback over #9 Penn State, 3-2, in front of a program-record 2,667 fans in 2006. Illinois has since defeated No. 24 Indiana, 3-0, in 2007, Michigan, 1-0, in 2008, Indiana, 2-1, in 2010 and Wisconsin, 1-0, in 2011. In 2009, the Illini came from behind to tie Minnesota, 2-2, in double overtime, while the Orange and Blue fell for the first time at SoccerFest last season, dropping a 4-0 decision to Penn State.
Series History vs. Nebraska: Illinois is 4-0 in the all-time series against Nebraska. Last season, the Illini cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Huskers on Senior Day in Champaign. Former Illini Shayla Mutz scored two first half goals, while Niki Read and Vanessa DiBernardo added tallies in the second period. In 2011, the Illini won 3-1 in Lincoln, while UI also won the first two games between the squads in 2004 (2-1) and 2005 (1-0) in Champaign.
Scouting the Huskers (RPI: 20): Nebraska is currently 6-2-1 on the season after a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over No. 14 Denver at home last Sunday. NU is on a four-game winning streak during which they have only allowed three goals. They topped Michigan State, 1-0, in their Big Ten opener and will play at Northwestern on Friday before Sunday's tilt. Freshman Jaycie Johnson has posted game-winning goals in her last three matches and has scored in her previous four contests. Johnson's seventh goal of the season leads the team and all freshman in the Big Ten, while also ranking third overall in the conference.
Last Time Out
Where the Illini Rank Statistically
Individually, forward Jannelle Flaws is tied for 10th in the NCAA and second in the Big Ten with nine goals. Senior Vanessa DiBernardo is tied for third in the conference and 16th in the nation with six assists along with ranking second on the team with four goals. Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley leads the Big Ten with 42 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.
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 Sept. 1 against Illinois State.
Flaws tallied the final goal on Aug. 30 in Illinois' 6-2 rout of College of Charleston, where UI notched its most goals ever in a home opener. 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.
Extra Time Needed
Climbing the Record Book Charts