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    Illini Play at Northwestern Thursday, #17 Penn State Sunday
    Freshman Claire Wheatley and the Illini will square off against Northwestern on Thursday before taking on No. 17 Penn State on Sunday on the Big Ten Network.

    Freshman Claire Wheatley and the Illini will square off against Northwestern on Thursday before taking on No. 17 Penn State on Sunday on the Big Ten Network.

    Oct. 16, 2013

     Game 15: Illinois (7-5-2, 2-3-1 Big Ten) at Northwestern (3-9-2, 1-5-0 Big Ten)
     Date Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013
     Time 6:30 p.m.
     Location Lakeside Field | Evanston, Ill.
     Live Stats Gametracker
     Watch BTDN on Wildcats All-Access
     Series History Illinois leads 10-4-3
     Last Meeting Northwestern won 2-1 (10/18/12) in Champaign

     Game 16: Illinois (7-5-2, 2-3-1 Big Ten) at #17 Penn State (10-3-1, 4-2-0 Big Ten)
     Date Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013
     Time 11 a.m. CT
     Location Jeffrey Field | University Park, Pa.
     Live Stats Gametracker
     Watch Big Ten Network or BTN2Go
     Series History Penn State leads 21-4-0
     Last Meeting Illinois won 1-0 (11/2/12) in Bloomington, Ind. (Big Ten Tournament Semifinal)

     Road Weekend Links
     Preview Interviews Coach Rayfield | Jannelle Flaws | Claire Wheatley
     Social Media @IlliniSoccer   |  Facebook | Instagram
     Game Notes Illinois | Northwestern | Penn State

    Illinois is...
    ...second in the Big Ten with 38 goals (T-9th in NCAA)
    ...led by Jannelle Flaws' 15 goals (1st Big Ten, T-2nd NCAA)
    ...4-0-1 when leading at halftime & 6-1-2 when scoring first

    Games at Northwestern, #17 Penn State This Week
    Coming Up Next: After snapping its three-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin at home, Illinois will hit the road again for a pair of conference matches. The Illini will head north to Evanston, Ill., for a match against Northwestern on Thursday (Oct. 17) at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeside Field. The Orange and Blue will then travel to University Park, Pa., for a Sunday (Oct. 20) showdown against No. 17 Penn State at Jeffrey Field. The Illini and Nittany Lions will square off live on the Big Ten Network at 11 a.m. CT with Dan Kelly and Danielle Slaton on the call.

    Series History vs. Northwestern: Illinois leads the all-time series over Northwestern, 10-4-3. The Illini are 3-3-2 all-time in games played in Evanston against the Wildcats. Last season, the Orange and Blue fell 2-1 when NU scored two goals in the final 10 minutes in Champaign. The Illini shut out the Wildcats, 3-0, the last time the two teams met in Evanston in 2011.

    Scouting the Wildcats (RPI: 128): Northwestern is coming off its first Big Ten win of the year with a 2-0 shutout of Minnesota after losing its first five conference games. The Wildcats are 3-9-2 overall and tied for last in the Big Ten at 1-5-0. NU ranks last in the conference in goals scored at 13, but the Wildcats lead the Big Ten with 77 saves. Northwestern has been shut out five times and recorded four shutouts of their own. Kate Allen and Katie Landgrebe are tied for the team lead with three goals each.

    Series History vs. Penn State: Illinois has defeated Penn State four times in 25 meetings all-time, with two of those wins coming during each of the past two Big Ten Tournaments. Illinois' other two wins occurred in 2006 in Champaign and 2002 in the Big Ten Tournament in East Lansing, Mich. The Orange and Blue have never won in Univeristy Park, Pa. (0-11). Last season, the Illini fell 4-0 to PSU during the regular season but knocked off the third-ranked Nittany Lions, 1-0, in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington, Ind. Nicole Breece scored the lone goal in the 41st minute to send Illinois to its second consecutive Big Ten Tournament final. In 2011, Illinois won the Big Ten Tournament for the second time in school history with its 2-1 overtime victory over Penn State in the championship match. Former Illini Julie Ewing scored UI's only goal during regulation, while Vanessa DiBernardo connected on the game winner in OT.

    Scouting the Nittany Lions (RPI: 5): Penn State boasts the No. 5 RPI in the NCAA and sits 17th in the NSCAA Top 25 rankings. PSU won 10 of its first 12 matches before falling 1-0 in each of its last two games against Minnesota and Michigan. Penn State sits at 10-3-1 overall and is third in the Big Ten standings at 4-2-0. The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in goals with 39, just one more than the Illini (38), shots with 270, and assists with 38. Maya Hayes ranks second in the Big Ten with 13 goals to lead Penn State.

    Last Time Out
    Last weekend, Illinois upset No. 20 Wisconsin and snapped its three-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Badgers. Forward Jannelle Flaws scored twice and sophomore Taylore Peterson put UI on the board with a penalty kick, as the Illini never trailed in the Big Ten battle at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. Despite getting out-shot 21-10, the Illini delivered a strong defensive performance, including a career-high nine saves by freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley, to hold on for the win. Following her fourth multi-goal performance, Flaws took over the Big Ten lead with 15 goals, three shy of the Illinois single-season record.

    Flaws Rakes in the Awards
    University of Illinois forward Jannelle Flaws earned a trio of weekly awards following her two-goal performance against No. 20 Wisconsin on Oct. 12. The Glenview, Ill., native was honored as a CollegeSoccer360.com (CS360) Primetime Performer, named to the Top Drawer Soccer (TDS) Team of the Week and picked as the College Sports Madness (CSM) Big Ten Player of the Week. Flaws scored the final two goals, including the game winner, in Illinois' 3-2 victory over the Badgers on Saturday.

    Flaws Nears UI Season Goal Record
    Redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws leads the Big Ten and is tied for second in the NCAA with 15 goals this season. With five games remaining in the regular season, Flaws is three goals shy of Emily Brown's single-season school record of 18 goals. She currently is tied for the third-most goals by an Illini in a season behind Vanessa DiBernardo's 17 goals in 2011 and Brown's 18 goals in 1999. For the season, redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws is averaging over goal per game (1.07), has found the net in 10 of 14 games and boasts four multi-goal games in 2013. 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.

    Where the Illini Rank Statistically
    Illinois ranks second in the Big Ten with 38 goals, which also sits in the Top 10 in the nation in the latest NCAA statistical rankings. The Illini also rank in the top 15 in the country in scoring offense (7th, 2.71 goals per game) and assists (9th, 34). Illinois sits second in the Big Ten with 110 points and third with 254 shots. Illinois' 38 goals through 14 games has already eclipsed its 2012 total of 31 goals (23 games).

    Big Ten Saves Leader
    Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley leads the Big Ten with 65 saves. The Plano, Texas, native has collected a career-high nine saves three times: at the season opener at Notre Dame, at the Big Ten opener at Ohio State and most recently against Wisconsin. Her 4.64 save average per game ranks third in the conference.

    Goals Coming from All Over
    Illinois has had 13 different players score a goal during the 2013 season. Forward Jannelle Flaws is tied for second in the NCAA and first in the Big Ten with 15 goals, while senior Vanessa DiBernardo is tied for second on the team with junior Allie Osoba with four goals. Senior Megan Pawloski is fourth 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. Senior Kassidy Brown turned in her first goal of the year and second career at Indiana, while sophomore Taylore Peterson connected on a penalty kick against Wisconsin for her first goal of the year and third career.

    Second-Half Scoring
    Illinois has scored over twice as many goals in the second half (26) as it has in the first half (11). Its lone golden goal came off the right foot of freshman Meegan Johnston in the 5-4 overtime victory at Louisville.

    DiBernardo Senior CLASS Award Finalist
    University of Illinois senior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo was named a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes who excel both on and off the field. DiBernardo is one of 10 women's soccer players up for the award, which includes two other members of the Big Ten in Penn State's Maya Hayes and Michigan's Holly Hein.

    The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 women's candidates announced in August. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through November 25. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup championships in December.

    To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

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