Oct. 29, 2013
| Game 19: Illinois (9-7-2, 4-5-1 Big Ten) at Minnesota (11-5-2, 4-4-2 Big Ten)
||Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
||Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium | Minneapolis. Minn.
| Live Stats
||Big Ten Network or Watch on BTN2Go
| Series History
||Illinois leads 9-7-2
| Last Meeting
||Illinois won PK (3-2) after 2-2 tie in Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington (10/31/12)
...second in the Big Ten with 43 goals (T-16th in NCAA)
...led by Jannelle Flaws' 19 goals (UI Record, 2nd in NCAA)
...6-0-1 when leading at halftime & 7-1-2 when scoring first
...9-3-0 when scoring more than 2 goals
Illini vs. Gophers in Season Finale
Final Game in Minneapolis: Illinois will head to Minneapolis, Minn., for the regular season finale against Minnesota on Thursday (Oct. 31) at 2 p.m. The conference showdown at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium will be broadcast live by the Big Ten Network. The Orange and Blue are tied for seventh with Iowa and Wisconsin in the conference standings at 4-5-1 (13 points) heading into the final game of the season. The top eight teams will qualify for the Big Ten Tournament, which will be hosted by Illinois in Champaign from Nov. 6-10.
Series History vs. Minnesota: Illinois leads 9-7-2 in the all-time series against the Golden Gophers. The two teams met exactly one year ago on Oct. 31, 2012, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington, Ind. The Illini advanced with a 3-2 edge in penalty kicks after the contest ended in a 2-2 tie following regulation and two overtime periods. During the regular season, Illinois fell 3-0 to Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Scouting the Gophers (RPI: 22): Minnesota won its last two games on the road at Wisconsin and Purdue and moved into a tie for fifth in the Big Ten standings with a record of 4-4-2 (14 points) and overall mark of 11-5-2. The Gophers also gave the Big Ten's top-ranked team, No. 8 Michigan, its only loss in conference play and knocked off Penn State. Freshman goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs leads the Big Ten with 108 saves and ranks second in the conference with a 0.93 goals against average. Minnesota has only allowed 16 goals all season and boasts seven shutouts. Offensively, the Gophers are second-to-last in the conference in shots (228) and goals (25), led by a team-high seven goals from Katie Thyken.
Advancing to Big Ten Tournament
Four teams - Nebraska (27 points), Michigan (25), Penn State (18) and Indiana (18) - have already clinched a berth into next week's eight-team Big Ten Tournament. Five teams - Minnesota (14), Ohio State (14), Illinois (13), Iowa (13) and Wisconsin (13) - are in contention for the final four spots into the postseason event. Illinois defeated both Iowa and Wisconsin during the regular season, meaning it owns the tiebreaker over both teams. With a win at Minnesota, Illinois would clinch a spot in the top six in the Big Ten standings. The Illini would be the five seed in the BTT with a victory and an Ohio State loss or draw. If both Illinois and OSU win, the Illini would be the six seed. If Illinois ties or loses at Minnesota, the Illini can still earn a BTT spot if either Iowa or Wisconsin has the same result as UI. That would leave the Illini tied with Iowa or Wisconsin, enacting the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Last Time Out
Illinois split its final two home matches, falling 2-0 to No. 10 Michigan before bouncing back with a 2-0 shutout over Michigan State on Senior Day. The Illini outshot the Wolverines but came up short against the ranked opponent. On Sunday, Fighting Illini forward Jannelle Flaws set a school record and Illinois put itself in control of its own destiny for the Big Ten Tournament with its first shutout in conference play. The final regular season match at the Illinois Soccer Stadium was a scoreless, defensive battle until the 80th minute when Allie Osoba connected for the game winner in the box. Less than four minutes later, Flaws launched a free kick into the upper 90 for her program-best 19th goal of the season.
Flaws Sets UI Season Goal Record
During the final regular season home game against Michigan State, redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws set the single-season goals scored school record with her program-best 19th goal. The Glenview, Ill., native broke Emily Brown's previous top mark of 18 goals from 1999 and ranked second in the nation behind only Cal Poly's Elise Krieghoff, who owns 20 goals this season. Following her hat trick at Northwestern, Flaws also matched Emily Brown's school-record mark of two hat tricks in a season from 1999. The redshirt-junior is averaging over goal per game (1.06) and has accounted for 44 percent of Illinois' goals (19 of 43). She has found the net in 12 of 18 games and boasts five multi-goal games in 2013. Flaws has netted 11 goals during Big Ten play, which broke Vanessa DiBernardo's school record of eight goals in 2012. 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 43 goals, which also sits in the Top 20 in the nation in the latest NCAA statistical rankings. The Illini also rank in the top 20 in the country in scoring offense (18th, 2.39 goals per game) and Top 30 in assists (29th, 39). Illinois sits second in the Big Ten with 125 points and tied for fourth with 305 shots. Illinois' 43 goals is a 12-goal improvement from her 2012 total of 31 goals (23 games).
Freshman in Goal
Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley ranks second in the Big Ten with 84 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 against Wisconsin. Her 4.67 save average per game is tied for 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 leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the NCAA with her school-record 19 goals, while junior Allie Osoba is second on the squad with a career-high five goals. Senior Vanessa DiBernardo, who has missed nearly half the season with a knee sprain, has the third-most goals with four. 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.
Illinois has scored over twice as many goals in the second half (29) as it has in the first half (13). Its lone golden goal came off the right foot of freshman Meegan Johnston in the 5-4 overtime victory at Louisville.
Holding onto the Lead
Illinois is 6-0-1 when leading at halftime this season and only has one loss after leading: at Indiana (led 1-0, lost 3-2).
Pawloski Flips It In to Osoba
Senior Megan Pawloski ranks second on the Illini with five assists this season, including a pair coming from her flip throw-ins. Junior Allie Osoba twice has scored the game-winning goal from the Pawloski flip pass: vs. Iowa (9/27) and vs. Michigan State (10/27).
Illinois Hosting the Big Ten Tournament
Illinois will host the 2013 Big Ten Tournament at the Illinois Soccer Stadium from Nov. 6-10, marking the second time the event will be held in Champaign (also hosted in 2000). The top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the event, with the quarterfinals set for Wednesday, Nov. 6, the semifinal matches on Saturday, Nov. 8 and the championship match on Sunday, Nov. 10.