The return of Rebecca Patrick has made the Illini solid defensively
Oct. 3, 2000
The Fighting Illini soccer team takes to the road this week for games at Penn State and Ohio State. Penn State is 10-2-1 after victories at Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Illini are 0-4 all-time vs. Penn State after falling 4-1 last season in Champaign. Illinois is 2-1 vs. Sunday's opponent Ohio State after defeating the Buckeyes, 5-2 in Champaign last year.
Emily Brown continues to back her claim as one of the most dangerous players in the Big Ten. Brown has scored goals in six of the last eight games, including scoring two goals on Sept. 10 vs. Northern Illinois. Brown who is especially potent on balls in the air, holds every Illini record imaginable. After scoring a school-record 18 goals last year and 13 goals the year before, she now has 38 goals for her career. Even as a junior Brown is tied for sixth on the all-time Big Ten goals scoring list. Brown is two goals behind Michigan's Amber Berendowsky for fifth on the list. Rachel Hoffman of Penn State holds the record with 58 goals from 1994-97. * Last year Brown set the Illinois record for goals in the most consecutive games by scoring in five straight. Brown has a goal in 19 of the Illini's 33 games over the past two seasons.
Last year Illinois built a 3-0 before winning, 5-2. The year before that, the Illini won 5-1 in Columbus. Lisa Baldwin, who had missed four games with a dislocated knee notched her second goal in two games vs. OSU in 1999. Kelly Buszkiewicz countered with a chip shot over the head of the 6-foot-1 Ohio State goalkeeper Amber Barnes off an assist from Hollie Schurr at the 24:05 mark. Two minutes later Schurr's shot from within the box trickled between the legs of Barnes and gave Illinois what seemed to be an insurmountable lead at 3-0. The Buckeyes countered with two quick goals in the opening minutes of the second half, but Emily Brown scored two goals to account for the final score.
ILLINI OUT-SHOOT OPPONENTS
Illinois has consistently fired more shots than their opponents this season, combining for a Big Ten leading 265 shots. Nearly half (130) of those shots have been on goal. The Illini are well on their way to shattering last year's school-record total of 359 shots in the 22 game season. In fact, the Illini have out-shot their opponents in all 11 games this season. A look at Illinois and totals vs. opponents:
PATRICK MAKES DIFFERENCE IN ILLINI DEFENSE
After missing last season with a knee injury, Rebecca Patrick has returned to anchor a potent Illinois defense. Twice this year she has saved goals with a defender save in front of the Illini goal. Patrick has started every game she has played for Illinois. Fellow defender Sue Hodson has been used more and more as an offensive force in the backfield. Hodson (6) and Heidi Holtzman (10) have fired shots on occasion this year.
Although Hollie Schurr has taken some corners, that duty has been relegated to Tara Schuling most of this year. Schuling has been extremely accurate in getting the ball into the box. Schuling's corner set up the game's only goal in the 1-0 win over Northwestern on Friday. Illinois has a commanding edge over opponents in corner kicks, 70-31.
With five Big Ten games remaining, the Illini have tied the school record for most conference victories in a season, accomplished each of the past two seasons. The victory over Wisconsin was just the second road conference victory in school history. With a successful October Illinois could also wrap up the school's first NCAA bid. * Lindsay Johnson has four assists this season, giving her 12 in her Illini career. That moves her into second on the all-time Illini career assist list. Kelly Buszkiewicz holds the record with 12 assists.
Illinois returns to Penn State Friday for the first time since playing in its first ever Big Ten Tournament. The Illini spotted PSU a 1-0 and nearly tied the game on several occasions before succumbing to the host and eventual champs, 1-0.
To ask questions to Illinois coaches and players, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 13 -- Greek Night (students wearing Greek letters to the game get in free. Oct. 29 -- Youth Day (Soccer Clinic follow the game)