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    Illini to Host Iowa Friday, Nebraska Sunday for SoccerFest
    Sophomore Taylore Peterson and the Illini will host Iowa on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Nebraska on Sunday at 1 p.m., with SoccerFest beginning at noon.

    Sophomore Taylore Peterson and the Illini will host Iowa on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Nebraska on Sunday at 1 p.m., with SoccerFest beginning at noon.

    Sept. 26, 2013

     Game 10: Illinois (5-2-2) vs. Iowa (8-1-0)
     Date Friday, Sept. 27, 2013
     Time 7 p.m.
     Location Illinois Soccer Stadium | Champaign, Ill.
     Live Stats Gametracker
     Series History Illinois leads 12-5-1
     Last Meeting Illinois won 2-1 (11/16/12) in Champaign

     Game 11: Illinois (5-2-2) vs. Nebraska (6-2-1)
     Date Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013
     Time 1 p.m.
     Location Illinois Soccer Stadium | Champaign, Ill.
     Live Stats Gametracker
     Radio WDWS AM 1400 (Brian Moline & Tim Ditman) | Listen Online
     Series History Illinois leads 4-0
     Last Meeting Illinois won 4-1 (10/21/12) in Champaign

     SoccerFest Weekend Links
     Preview Interviews Coach Rayfield | Vanessa DiBernardo | Taylore Peterson
     Social Media @IlliniSoccer   |  Facebook | Instagram
     Game Notes Illinois | Iowa | Nebraska
     SoccerFest Video Promo | History of SoccerFest

    Illinois is...
    ...leading the Big Ten with 29 goals (T-6th in NCAA)
    ...hosting the eighth-annual SoccerFest on Sunday at noon
    ...playing its first Big Ten games at home
    ...4-0-1 when scoring first & 5-1 when scoring 2 goals or more

    First Illini Big Ten Home Weekend
    B1G Home Opener: Following a 1-1 draw in its first Big Ten game at Ohio State, Illinois will host its first conference weekend at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. The Illini will take on Iowa on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. and Nebraska on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. for SoccerFest.

    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
    2013 SoccerFest Details: Illinois will host its premier promotion, SoccerFest presented by WCIA, on Sunday, Sept. 29 when it takes on Nebraska at 1 p.m. The eighth-annual SoccerFest, which begins at noon, will feature free pizza for the first 1,000 fans, a petting zoo, a create-your-own animal keychain station, the chance to make your own caramel apple and postgame autographs. The Sunday Soccer Fan Zone also will be available for fans one hour prior to the game and a Celebrity Bumper Ballz Showdown will be held at halftime. Admission and parking for SoccerFest are both free. The Fan Zone will be set-up with special games for fans one hour prior to the match. Face painting, a juggling contest, penalty kick practice, a radar gun and Bumper Ballz will be available for fans. During halftime of SoccerFest, local celebrities will face off in a Bumper Ballz Showdown. The inflatable Bumper Ballz, courtesy of Soccer Planet, offer a unique twist to the game of soccer, allowing players to bounce off one another while playing inside a protective bubble.

    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
    In the Big Ten opener last week, Illinois jumped out to a quick 1-0 advantage and led for nearly 80 minutes, but Ohio State scored in the 84th minute, which sent the game to overtime, where it ended in a 1-1 draw. Redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws tallied her team-high ninth goal in the seventh minute and registered a game-high six shots, putting four on frame. UI has played four overtime games in its first nine contests, marking the most in program history to start the season.

    Where the Illini Rank Statistically
    Illinois leads the Big Ten with 29 goals, which was tied for sixth in the nation in the latest NCAA statistical rankings. The Illini also rank in the top 10 in the country in scoring offense (7th, 3.22 goals per game) and assists (10th, 26). Illinois leads the Big Ten with 84 points and ranks second with 188 shots. The Illini's 29 goals is the third-highest mark through nine games in program history behind the 33 goals scored in the first nine games of the 1998 season and 30 goals scored to start the 2011 campaign. It also is just two goals shy of UI's season total from 2012 of 31 goals.

    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
    For the season, redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws has scored in six of nine games and ranks second in the Big Ten in goals (9) and shots (41) and fourth in points (19). Her nine 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 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
    Illinois has played four overtime games in its first nine contests, marking the most in school history to begin the year. The Illini are 1-1-2 in those games, getting a win in their first OT game of the year at Louisville on the golden goal by freshman Meegan Johnston. UI fell 4-3 in double overtime at Arizona State, while its last two overtime tilts against Arizona and Ohio State have ended in 1-1 draws.

    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).

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