Sophomore forward Megan Pawloski scored both goals in Illinois' most recent SoccerFest event, when the Illini dropped Indiana, 2-1, on Oct. 3, 2010.
Oct. 13, 2011
SoccerFest 2010 Photo Gallery | SoccerFest 2010 Highlight Video
Week Nine Soccer Notes
Game 15: (RV) Illinois (9-4-1, 3-2-1) vs. Minnesota (5-7-2, 2-2-2)
Friday, Oct. 14 // 7 p.m. CT // Illinois Soccer Stadium // Champaign, Ill.
Live Statistics: Available on fightingillini.com
Radio: Illini Sports Network - WDWS AM 1400
Illinois leads the all-time series, 8-6-2. (Last meeting: #18 Minnesota 1, #20 Illinois 0; Sept. 26, 2010)
Game 16: (RV) Illinois (9-4-1, 3-2-1) vs. (RV) Wisconsin (8-4-2, 3-1-2)
SoccerFest 2011 // Sunday, Oct. 16 // 3 p.m. CT // Illinois Soccer Stadium // Champaign, Ill.
Live Statistics: Available on fightingillini.com
Television: Big Ten Network
Radio: Illini Sports Network - WDWS AM 1400
SoccerFest 2011: Free food for the first 2,000 fans, inflatable games for kids, face painting and Biker Sunday, where all motorcyclists are welcome to come show off their rides and rev their engines every time the Illini Score.
Illinois leads the all-time series, 9-6-1. (Last meeting: #17 Illinois 0, Wisconsin 0 [2OT]; Oct. 10, 2010)
Just For Kicks
... scored five or more goals in three consecutive games (Gonzaga, Toledo, Ball State) for the first time in program history.
... scored five or more goals in four separate games for the first time since 2000.
... has won its last 70 games when scoring three or more goals, dating back to 1999.
... is 7-1-1 when scoring at least two goals in a game and 6-1-1 in day games.
... finished 6-2-0 in non-conference play, the fifth consecutive and 13th overall season Illinois started the Big Ten schedule with a winning non-conference mark.
Fighting Illini Media Coverage
The University of Illinois soccer squad will receive considerable coverage from local and regional media outlets throughout the 2011 regular season, with live broadcasts of contests featured on the Big Ten Network and the Illini Sports Network - WDWS 1400AM, in addition to print weekly coverage in the Daily Illini and the Champaign News-Gazette. In total, two Illini contests will be featured on the conference's television network, while WDWS will carry five home matches.
Illinois' home-opener against Gonzaga will be broadcast by WDWS, with Brian Moline and Tim Ditman calling the game from Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium. The Illini Sports Network will also cover the Orange and Blue's match-ups with USC (9/2), Purdue (10/2), Minnesota (10/14) and Wisconsin (10/16).
The Big Ten Network will show a delayed broadcast of Illinois' contest at Michigan State on Oct. 8, with the game airing on the network on Oct. 9. The following weekend, the BTN will broadcast live from Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium during SoccerFest 2011 as Illinois hosts the Wisconsin Badgers at 3 p.m. on Oct. 16.
Illinois on the Big Ten Network
at Michigan State // Oct. 8 at Noon*
vs. Wisconsin // Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m.
Illinois on WDWS AM 1400
vs. Gonzaga // Friday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.
vs. USC // Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
vs. Purdue // Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m.
vs. Minnesota // Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.
vs. Wisconsin // Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m.
The University of Illinois soccer program will host its annual SoccerFest event on Sunday, Oct. 16 against Wisconsin at 3 p.m. CT. Inflatable games, face painting and free food for the first 2,000 fans will be offered courtesy of the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics Marketing Office, while the Big Ten Network will be on-hand to broadcast the event live. As with the previous two SoccerFest contests, motorcyclists are welcome to bring their bikes to park along the track and rev their engines every time the Illini score.
The Illini have had considerable success during each SoccerFest event, recording a 4-0-1 record in the previous five 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 #24 Indiana, 3-0, in 2007, Michigan, 1-0, in 2008 and Indiana yet again, 2-1, during the most recent SoccerFest. In 2009, the Illini came from behind to tie Minnesota, 2-2, through double overtime.
Former Illini Ella Masar (2004-07) leads all Orange and Blue players with four goals during SoccerFest contests, including two against #9 Penn State to secure the first SoccerFest victory. In the most recent SoccerFest contest, current sophomore forward Megan Pawloski recorded two goals off the bench in the span of two minutes to secure the win over Indiana.
Last Time Out
On the road facing the Michigan State Spartans as part of a one-game weekend, Illinois soccer earned a 1-0 victory in double overtime for the ninth win of the season for the Illini. Senior midfielder Marissa Mykines connected for the game-winning goal on a line-drive strike at the 102:36 mark, following a pass from sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo.
Each team's defense kept action away from the net throughout the majority of the regulation, with scoreless play a result. The Spartans earned two quality chances during the first half, with the play of junior goalkeeper Steph Panozzo in net keeping Michigan State (10-4-0 overall, 3-3-0 Big Ten) scoreless. Panozzo blocked a point-blank shot from Olivia Stander in the fifth minute, sending the ball wide of the net before using her fist to push a perfectly placed shot by Katelin Chaklos over the goal nine minutes later.
After a scoreless first overtime period, the Illini found the back of the net in the 103rd minute to end the contest, with Mykines earning her first game-winning goal of the season in the process. DiBernardo controlled play on the near sideline, crossing the ball into the center of the field as Mykines began a run toward goal. DiBernardo's pass bounced right to Mykines, who dribbled to her right and struck a shot into the left side of the goal netting, near the left post, to end the contest.
The University of Illinois returns to Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium for a two-game weekend homestand, hosting Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Illini face the Gophers on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., with WDWS broadcasting the contest live on the Illini Sports Network - AM 1400. The Orange and Blue will then face Wisconsin as part of SoccerFest 2011 on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m., with the Big Ten Network and WDWS airing the contest live.
Minnesota (5-7-2 overall, 2-2-2 Big Ten) heads to Champaign with Taylor Uhl spearheading the Gophers' attack. Uhl has registered nine goals and an assist to earn 19 points, including notching four game-winners. The remainder of Minnesota's offense is spread over 11 additional point-scorers, with Nicole Baier (2 G, 3 A, 7 P), Josie Solie (3 G, 6 P) and Shari Eckstrom (2 G, 2 A, 6 P) following Uhl.
On defense, Cat Parkhill assumes starting goalkeeper responsibilities for the third straight season, playing 1,283 of a possible 1,311 minutes through 14 games in 2011. Parkhill has allowed 18 goals for a 1.26 goals-against average, stopping 53 shots for a .746 save percentage. Katie Roberts has played the final 28 minutes of the season, seeing time in one contest. Roberts has not allowed a goal while stopping one on-target shot.
As a team, Minnesota has notched 18 goals while allowing 18, owning a 52-51 points advantage with 16 assists against 15 for its opponents. The Gophers outshoot the opposition, 202-147, while taking 77 corners and limiting foes to 54.
Minnesota and Illinois last met in St. Paul, Minn., with the #18 Gophers coming out on top, 1-0. Katie Bethke recorded the lone goal of the contest for Minnesota in the 71st minute. Illinois holds a 8-6-2 edge in the all-time series, owning a 5-1-1 advantage in games played in Champaign. While at home, the Illini have outscored Minnesota, 17-6, and have shut the Gophers out on three occasions.
A pair of 15-point scorers in Cara Walls and Laurie Nosbursch lead Wisconsin, as the duo has provided 12 of Wisconsin's 19 goals and six of its 18 assists. Walls has seven goals and an assist on 25 shots while Nosbusch has five goals and five assists on 55 shots, the most by any Badger. Alex Kelter follows with three goals and an assist to own seven points as the third leading scorer, while no other Wisconsin player has more than four points.
Michele Dalton returns for her fourth season in net as a redshirt senior, playing every minute of the season through 14 games. Dalton has only allowed 13 goals in 1,306 minutes for a 0.90 goals-against average, making 71 saves in the process for a .845 save percentage.
As a team Wisconsin is outscoring opponents, 19-13, and owns a 56-35 points advantage. Shots between the Badgers and their foes are tied at 183, while Wisconsin holds a 74-59 edge in corners.
The last time the Illini and the Badgers faced off, Illinois left Madison, Wis., with a scoreless draw in double overtime on Oct. 10, 2010. The Orange and Blue lead the all-time series, 9-6-1, and Illinois is 4-2 at home against Wisconsin.
Nods of Approval
Through eight weeks, the Illini have been recognized as a talented team among the national and Great Lakes region leaders. After debuting at No. 24 in the official NSCAA poll, the Orange and Blue now sit among the teams receiving votes for the top-25, placing 31st overall. Illinois is also featured at No. 34 in Top Drawer Soccer's Tournament 64, a breakdown of the squads that Top Drawer Soccer believes will reach the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
While the Illini receive national recognition as a squad, the Big Ten Conference, Top Drawer Soccer, Soccer America and Chicagoland Soccer News have singled out sophomore Vanessa DiBernardo with weekly accolades in honor of Illinois' success. The conference named DiBernardo the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Aug. 22 and Oct. 3 as the Naperville, Ill., native sits among the leaders in the conference in goals and points, while Chicagoland Soccer News followed suit by naming DiBernardo as its regional player of the week following the same performances. Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America also added DiBernardo on their respective Team of the Week listings, the only Big Ten student-athlete to earn both awards following the first weekend series of the season. Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America have since named DiBernardo to their teams of the week a second time, awarding a spot on their Oct. 3 weekly releases.
Chicagoland Soccer News also noticed the success of other Fighting Illini student-athetes early in the season, with Niki Read taking home player of the week honors on Aug. 29 following her hat trick at Ball State while Megan Pawloski totaled the same award on Sept. 12. DiBernardo was also recognized as an all-tournament selection for the Illini/Boilermaker Challenge as well as the LSU Invitational, along with Read and Marissa Mykines (Illini/Boilermaker Challenge) and Pawloski and Jackie Guerra (LSU Invitational). Most recently, senior Jenna Carosio took home Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week and Soccer America Team of the Week accolades in honor of Illinois' recent defensive success, including a shutout victory over an offensive-minded Michigan State squad in double-overtime on the road.
High Octane Offense
Fourteen games into the 2011 season, Illinois has posted 98 points on 37 goals and 24 assists - the second-most productive 14-game stretch to open a season in program history, and best during the Janet Rayfield era. Previously, the Illini posted 117 points through the opening 14 contests during the 1998 season. Following the 2011 season's offensive outburst, the next closest show of attacking force during Rayfield's tenure as head coach comes last season, when Illinois put up 79 points through 14 games en route to its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in Rayfield's first nine seasons.
In the most recent NCAA statistical release, this output placed the Illini tied for 11th in scoring offense, with a 2.64 per game goals average. To assist the Illini in achieving this feat, Vanessa DiBernardo stands among the top-20 in the nation for total goals, goals per game, total points, points per game and game-winning goal. DiBernardo is tied for third in the nation with Michigan State's Laura Heyboer for game-winning goals (6), is tied for ninth in total goals (12) and averages 0.857 goals per contest, 13th-best in the nation. DiBernardo is also tied for 14th and 18th in total points (28) and points per game (2.00), respectively.
As a team, Illinois leads the Big Ten in shots (278) and is also first in goals scored per game (2.64). The Orange and Blue place second in points (98) and goals (37) and rank fifth in assists (24), assists per game (1.71) and corner kicks (79). In Big Ten-only contests, Illinois leads in shots (112), is second in goals per game (1.50) and is tied for second in goals (9) and points (27).
Individually, DiBernardo continues to be a leader among conference players, with the fourth-most goals (12), goals per game (0.86), points (28) and points per game (2.00). DiBernardo is also tied for the second-most game-winning goals, with six.
Where's It Going To Come From?
While Vanessa DiBernardo has led the charge with an Illinois-best 12 goals and four assist, the Orange and Blue offense opened the season with a team-wide outburst to record 98 points in only 14 games (6.79 points per game).
Niki Read began the season strong, producing a goal and assist against Gonzaga before tallying a seven-point contest at Ball State two games later. Against the Cardinals, Read produced a hat trick and an assist to become one of only five Illini to ever record seven or more points in a single game, matching her 2010 points total of 10 in the process. Read has since added three additional assists, one each against Colorado, Oregon and Indiana.
Megan Pawloski, a Big Ten All-Freshman honoree one season ago, has tied her 2010 statistical impact by producing five goals and two assists for 12 points, highlighted by the Althoff Catholic graduate's game-tying mark against Louisville and multi-goal performance against Oregon.
Marissa Mykines earned a goal and two assists against Gonzaga to match DiBernardo's four-point output versus the Bulldogs. Mykines then followed with an insurance goal against Toledo, extending Illinois' lead to 3-1 while matching her 2010 season points output of six in the process. Mykines has since surpassed her previous year's points total by contributing a game-tying goal vs. Colorado and an insurance tally against Indiana before recording the game-winning mark in double overtime at Michigan State, surpassing her previous points recorded career high (11 in 2009) with 12 on the current season.
Julie Ewing, a defender in her first three years at Illinois, follows with a career-best three goals, recording one each against Gonzaga, Toledo and Oregon, while totaling her first assist of the year against Indiana. Shayla Mutz earned the game-winning goal in overtime at Louisville, while adding an assist on a Pawloski goal against No. 13 Pepperdine. Mutz also owns the game-tying strike at Iowa, a header shot in the 68th minute, while senior Jackie Guerra totaled the eventual game-deciding goal against Oregon.
Following a year-long recovery from a devastating knee injury suffered in her final high school soccer game, Jannelle Flaws has made an immediate impact off the bench in her redshirt-freshman season. Flaws has seven points on two goals and three assists, notching her tallies against Pepperdine and Ohio State while contributing assists against Oregon, Iowa and Indiana. All of Flaws' seven points have come during the seven most recent Illini contests.
The Defense Puts Its Foot Down
After allowing 16 goals through the opening 10 contests the Illinois defense has stamped out opponents over the previous four games by only allowing two goals (0.48 GAA) en route to a 3-1 record during that span. Purdue and Michigan State both fell victim to the Illini defense, with Illinois shutting out the Boilermakers and Spartans to earn identical 1-0 victories. Illinois dominated Indiana, 4-1, with the Illini defense holding strong throughout the first half, allowing the offense to find its rhythm and net three second-half goals to create the difference. Prior to the drubbing of Indiana, the Illini fell at Penn State, 1-0, as the offense was shut out for the first time on the season.
Jenna Carosio has spearheaded the recent success as Illinois' central defender, responsible for shaping and organizing the defensive efforts throughout each contest. For Carosio's and the entire defense's efforts, the Novi, Mich., native was awarded the Big Ten Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week Award on Oct. 10. Goalkeeper Steph Panozzo has stepped up her play as well to account for the reduced goals-against mark, stopping seven of nine attempts on net (.779 save percentage) to lower her goals-against average to 1.26 allowed per game on the season.