Krystin Miller and the Illini defense will look to shut down the Wolverines and Spartans this weekend.
Oct. 27, 2010
GAME 16: #16 ILLINOIS (11-3-1) vs. MICHIGAN STATE (9-4-3)
Friday, Oct. 29 // 2 p.m. // DeMartin Soccer Complex // East Lansing, Mich.
ON THE AIR
Livestats: GameTracker available on FightingIllini.com
Live Blog: Availabe on FightingIllini.com at the start of the game.
The Illini lead the all-time series with the Spartans, 11-3-2. Lasts season, Illinois used five different goal scorers to push past Michigan State, 5-0, in Champaign, Ill.
GAME 17: #16 ILLINOIS vs. MICHIGAN
Sunday, Oct. 31 // 2 p.m. // U-M Soccer Complex // Ann Arbor, Mich.
ON THE AIR
Livestats: GameTracker available on FightingIllini.com
Television: Live on The Big Ten Network - 3:00 p.m. (Josh Hakala & Lisa Grubb)
Michigan leads the all-time series, 10-6-1. Last season, the Wolverines downed the Fighting Illini, 1-0, in Champaign, Ill.
121-60-14 in nine seasons when earning seven or more shutouts.
31-18-3 in matches immediately following a loss under Janet Rayfield
100-21-12 when allowing one or fewer goals during Rayfield's tenure.
LAST TIME OUT
The Illini split their Week 10 slate, earning a come-from-behind victory, 2-1, over #17 Ohio State on Thursday before falling to Penn State, 2-0, on Sunday.
In Columbus, Ohio, the Orange and Blue rallied with a goal each from Vanessa DiBernardo and Niki Read in the final 28 minutes to down the Buckeyes on their Senior Night. DiBernardo notched her goal from 25 yards away by bending the shot away from the dive of keeper Rachel Middleman in the 63rd minute. Read followed with a goal 20 minutes later, using a pass from DiBernardo to line up a 35 yard shot, which bounced into the right corner of the net to earn the Illini their second comeback in as many games.
Against Penn State, the 30 mph sustained winds controlled the tempo of play, allowing both teams the opportunity to control play with the winds at their backs. In the first half, Penn State set the tempo, earning both of its goals while taking 20 of its 23 shots. In the second half, Illinois outshot the Nittany Lions, 11-3, but could not find the back of the net.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
The Spartans have earned a record of 9-4-3 overall and 3-2-2 in the Big Ten with three games remaining in their regular season schedule. At home, Michigan State has totaled a mark of 6-0-1 while, in their previous two games, the Spartans lost at Wisconsin, 2-0, on Oct. 22 and tied at Minnesota, 1-1, on Oct. 24.
On the season, Laura Heyboer leads Michigan State's offense with 22 points on 10 goals and two assists. Olivia Stander is second among Spartans in points with 20, notching eight goals to go with four assists. Jill Fliestra has totaled 1,420 minutes in net as the only Michigan State player to see time as goalie, allowing 10 tallies for a goals-against average of 0.63 per game.
The Wolverines currently hold a 8-3-4 overall record and a conference mark of 3-2-2 with a match against Iowa before hosting the Fighting Illini. In its most recent action, Michigan downed #23 Minnesota, 1-0, in double overtime on Friday, Oct. 22 before falling to Wisconsin, 1-0, in double overtime on Sunday, Oct. 24.
On the season, Nkem Ezurike is the only Wolverine with double-digit points, notching 17 on eight goals and one assist. Following Ezurike, Amanda Bowery has totaled nine points on two goals and five assists while Tori McCombs has tallied four goals. Haley Kopmeyer has earned the majority of action in goal for Michigan, allowing 12 goals in 1,413 minutes. Kopmeyer has stopped just under 83% of the shots she has faced to earn a goals-against average of 0.76 per game.
ILLINOIS TV AND RADIO BROADCASTS
The Illini are currently slated to appear on the Big Ten Network at Michigan on Oct. 31. Over the course of the season, the Orange and Blue have been featured on the Illini Sports Network - WDWS AM-1400 as well as Big Ten Student U. Below is a list of the upcoming television broadcasts:
Illinois on the Big Ten Network
Sunday, Oct. 31 at Michigan // 2 p.m.
NODS OF APPROVAL
After beginning the season unrecognized by college soccer media outlets, the Illini have earned the respect of each through their performance. Among rankings committees and websites, the Orange and Blue have earned 16th overall, from the NSCAA/NCAA official weekly poll. Soccer America gave the Illini the 21st spot, while Top Drawer Soccer seeded the Orange and Blue in 17th for their Tournament 64 projections, a look at the potential NCAA Tournament-bound programs.
Illinois has also received a multitude of individual awards. Danielle Kot earned the first of 2010, taking home Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors on Aug. 23 after a stellar performance against Loyola-Chicago to open the season.
Vanessa DiBernardo followed with Freshman of the Week on Aug. 30 for her one-goal matches against Wright State and Ball State as well as Freshman and Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 13 for her two-goal game at Cincinnati. DiBernardo secured another Offensive and Freshman Player of the Week combination with her four-goal performance against Purdue on Oct. 1.
Also, after the Illini defense posted four consecutive shutouts, senior Krystin Miller became the second Illini to earn Defensive Player of the Week from the Big Ten to go with recognition on College Soccer 360's Primetime Performers weekly release and Top Drawer Soccer's Team of the Week on Sept. 20.
ANOTHER PROGRAM BEST
Through 15 games, the Illini are off to the best starting in program history, earning a record of 11-3-1. Previously, Illinois totaled a mark of 10-3-2 through 15 games during their Big Ten Championship season in 2003 en route to its first of six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Illini twice used two unanswered goals to come away with a victory in a contest they were down in during the second half, downing Iowa in Champaign, Ill., 2-1, in overtime followed by their 2-1 win over Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. It is the first time since the 2003 season the Illini have earned two come-from-behind victories in succession.
Against Iowa, the Hawkeyes broke the scoreless tie with a converted penalty kick in the 70th minute; however, Krystin Miller answered with a PK in the 88th before Shayla Mutz tallied the game-winner in the 94th minute.
At Ohio State, a goal each by Vanessa DiBernardo and Niki Read in the second half pushed Illinois past the Buckeyes. DiBernardo lined up from 25 yards away in the 63rd minute before finding Read with a pass 35 yards out for the game-winner.