Women's Soccer
NCAA Tournament 1st Round: Illini at Mizzou

Senior Shayla Mutz will compete in her third straight NCAA Tournament. Mutz was recently named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team
Senior Shayla Mutz will compete in her third straight NCAA Tournament. Mutz was recently named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team

Nov. 8, 2012

Complete 1st Round Notes | Live Stream | GameTracker

Week 13 Soccer Notes

                        NCAA Tournament 1st Round       
Game 22: Illinois (10-8-3) vs. Missouri (14-7-0)
Saturday Nov. 10 // 6:30 p.m. CT // Audrey J Walton Track-Soccer Stadium // Columbia, Mo.

Live Statistics: http://www.mutigers.com/gametracker/launch/gt_wsoccer.html?event=1223499&school=miss&sport=wsoccer&camefrom=&startschool=&

Web Stream: http://ulive.cbssports.com/index-ncaa.html?media=349935

The Series
Illini trail the overall series, 3-4-1. (Last Meeting: Illini 1 - Mizzou 1 (2OT) - ILL advances 4-3 in PK's - Columbia, Mo., 11/16/08

... Making 11th appearance in NCAA Tournament, going 10-10-1 in that span.
... Made Sweet 16 in 2006 & 2008, with best appearance in elite eight in 2004.
... BTT Semis: First Time Penn State had been shutout all season and first time in program history Illinois defeated a top-3 ranked school.
... BTT Quarterfinals: First time in program history the squad rallied to score two goals down a man to eventually advance.
.... Last Sunday vs Ohio St. marked the fifth BTT championship game appearance for the Illini.
 ... With their 3-2 OT win over Michigan, the Illini have won their past 77 games when netting three or more goals, dating back to the 1999 season.
... Are 5-0-1 when the team produces at least 2 goals.
... DiBernardo led the conference in shots (69) in Big Ten play while freshman Nicole Breece just cracked the top-10 in shots per game with 3.44.
... 11 of the 28 goals that have been scored this year have been by different Illini.
... Are 8-1-2 when they have outshot their opponent.
... Goalkeeper Steph Panozzo achieved a new career high of 97 saves, surpassing last season's mark of 75. Tied for second all time with Leisha Alcia for most saves in a season.
... DiBernardo has won Co-Offensive player of the week twice in October and was just named First Team All Big Ten
... 7-2-0 when scoring first this year
... 8-2-2 when holding opponent to one goal or less
... Last season, Illini became first school to knock off the defending national champion in the first round of
the NCAA Tournament. 

2012 NCAA Tournament 1st Round
Host: University of Missouri
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Facility: Audrey J Walton Track-Soccer Stadium
Stream:   Available via Mizzou's schedule page 
Live Stats: Available on fightillini.com

First Round Opponent: Mizzou
2012 Overall Record: 14-7-0
2012 SEC Record: 8-5-0, 4th in Eastern Division
All-time vs. Illinois: 4-3-1
NSCAA National Ranking: Receiving Votes
Last NCAA Tournament: 2008; 2nd round
Last Meeting: Illinois 1 - Missouri 1 (2OT) - ILL advances 4-3 PK's - 11/16/08

Illinois has appeared in 11 NCAA Tournaments during the program's 16 seasons, including the current bid. Overall, the Illini are 10-10-1 in tournament action, reaching as far as the Elite Eight during the 2004 season. Additionally, the Orange and Blue headed to the Sweet Sixteen in 2006 and 2008.
During their first appearance in the tournament, the Illini defeated Xavier, 2-0, in Champaign during the 2000 season before falling to Big Ten Champion Penn State, 1-0, in overtime in the second round. Illinois went on to see first round competition in both the 2001 and 2003 seasons before its longest run through the NCAA Tournament.
In 2004, the Illini downed Rice, 2-0, and #7 Texas A&M, 2-1, during the first and second rounds in College Station, Texas, to earn the right to host the Sweet Sixteen - where the Orange and Blue dropped Nebraska, 2-1. Illinois took to the road again for the Elite Eight, heading to California to face Santa Clara, where the Illini fell, 2-0, to end their magical run.
During 2006 and 2008, the Orange and Blue advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, destroying Southeast Missouri State, 2-0, and Saint Louis, 4-1, to reach the third round in 2006. Two years later, Illinois needed two overtimes to beat Memphis, 1-0, during first round competition, before using penalty kicks to down #13 Missouri in Columbia, Mo., during the second round.
After an opening-round exit at the hands of #22 USC in 2010, Illinois sent Notre Dame packing with a 1-0 shutout victory in the first contest of the 2011 version, the first time a defending National Champion squad was bounced from the tournament in the opening round. Illinois would then lose to No. 4 Oklahoma St in the second round 1-0.

The women's soccer team competed in the Big Ten Tournament this past week and made one of the most historic runs in program history. In the quarterfinals, the Illini trailed 2-0 and were down a player for almost the entire match, but rallied to force overtime and down the Minnesota Gophers in PK's. In the semi's, Illinois upset top seeded and third in the nation Penn State 1-0, but in the Championship, the Illini fell to No. 21 Ohio State 2-1.

Weykamp got the momentum rolling against Minnesota, scoring the Illini's first goal in the 20th minute to cut the deficit to one. Illinois continued to dig deep in the second half when Read scored the equalizer off a through ball from DiBernardo. After two scoreless overtimes the Illini went on to beat Minnesota 3-2 in PK's.

Freshman Nicole Breece provided the magic in the 40th minute against Penn State. After a flip throw from Pawloski sent the ball deep into Penn State's box, Breece hit a shot from six yards out to hit the game-winner. Goalkeeper Steph Panozzo then delivered the only shutout the No. 1 offensively ranked Nittany Lions had received all year.

Illinois tried to find the rally magic once more in the championship down 2-0 with under 10 minutes to play. Allie Osoba scored off a cross from DiBernardo to cut the lead to one, and the Illini almost scored with two minutes left off of a corner kick but a wall of Buckeye defenders negated the shot.

For their efforts, Shayla Mutz and Vanessa DiBernardo were named to the All Big Ten Tournament Team.

Illinois begins their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance with a first round matchup at Mizzou. The Tigers are 14-7-0 this season, finishing fourth in the SEC Eastern Division with a 8-5-0 conference mark. The Illini will travel to Columbia on Saturday where the Tigers are 8-2-0 at home this season. Missouri makes the Tournament for the fifth time in school history, with their last appearance occurring in 2008.

The Tigers have spread the offensive wealth this season, as five players have double digit points. Junior Alyssa Diggs has a team high eight goals and 17 points, while Taiwo Adeshigbin and Abi Raymer follow suit with seven goals each. In addition, both Diggs and Raymer have produced a team leading three game-winners. Furthermore, Senior Haley Krentz has been the field general and distributor of the team, racking up a team high 10 assists.

Redshirt sophomore McKenzie Sauerwein is the starting goalkeeper for the Tigers. Sauerwein has played all 21 games and has compiled a goals against average of 1.09 along with her 87 saves. Her save percentage of .791 has helped the team post six shutouts on the year.

As a whole, the Tigers have outscored their opponents this year 37-23. Thus, Mizzou averages 1.76 goals per game. In addition, Missouri averages 20.3 shots per game while holding opponents to 12.5 shots. The Tigers have also enjoyed a 155-94 corner kick advantage.

Missouri has had many bumps along the road entering the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have lost five of their past seven games, including their only two home losses on the season to Arkansas and LSU. Meanwhile, Illinois enters in stride, going unbeaten for four straight games, including wins over the No. 24 and 3 teams in the nation, before dropping 2-1 to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game.

The Tigers and the Illini last clashed on Nov. 16, 2008. The contest was a NCAA second round matchup where the two squads tied 1-1 after two overtimes. The Orange and Blue would advance after winning in PK's 4-3.    

For the second consecutive season, junior Vanessa DiBernardo received a spot on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. She is one of 38 women's soccer athletes up for the Hermann Trophy, given to one collegiate soccer player of each gender in recognition of their excellence in the sport as the best athlete of that year.

Junior defender Christina Farrell and Steph Panozzo were named to the Wake Forest Invitational All-Tournament Team. The duo limited the No. 17 and No. 11 teams in the nation to a combined two goals.

Top Drawer Soccer (TDS) updated their top-100 upperclassmen list at the beginning of October and DiBernardo still ranks No. 10 in the nation. Also, TDS updated their top-20 players in the Big Ten with Vanessa making the cut on that list as well. In addition, TDS just released their midseason women's freshmen top 100. Nicole Breece checked in at the No. 28 spot while Taylore Peterson secured No. 47.

Vanessa DiBernardo was named Big Ten offensive player of the week for her game-winning hat trick performance over Michigan State on Oct. 4.  DiBernardo claimed the Big Ten co-offensive POTW honor again for her five point winning effort in the 3-2 OT win at No. 24 Michigan, which also landed her on the CS360 Primetime Performers list for week 11. Furthermore, Shayla Mutz was recognized as Chicagoland Soccer News player of the week for her two-goal performance in the 4-1 win over Nebraska. The honor was Mutz's first accolade of the year.

On Halloween, the Big Ten announced their post-season awards. DiBernardo claimed her third career First Team All-Big Ten award. In addition, Nicole Breece was acknowledged for her productive season, being named to the All-Big Ten Freshmen Team. Meanwhile, junior Allie Osoba was named Sportsmanship Award Honoree. Furthermore, DiBernardo and Shayla Mutz were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.

After netting eight goals in conference play, Vanessa DiBernardo tied Tara Hurless (2001-04) for most career goals scored in Big Ten competition only with 20. She also surpassed Hurless (48 pts, 141 shots) for the top spot in career points and career shots in conference play, now with 50 and 151 respectively.

Overall, DiBernardo is now third in career goals with 32, behind Emily Brown's 46 and Tara Hurless' 47. Vanessa is third in career points as well with 84. Once again behind Emily Brown (108) and Tara Hurless (115). Finally, the junior is second in career game-winning goals with 14, two behind leader Hurless.

Goalkeeper Steph Panozzo is close to securing the top spot for saves in a season. The senior is currently tied with current Assistant Coach Leisha Alcia with 97 saves. Alcia also owns the No. 1 slot with 111 saves in the 2004 season.

The Illini enter the NCAA Tournament going unbeaten in four of their past five games. Illinois defeated Nebraska on Senior Day, No. 24 Michigan in Ann Arbor, rallied to force overtime a man down and trailing by two goals vs. Minnesota (where they beat them 3-2 in a penalty kick shootout), upset No. 3 Penn St. 1-0 and then fell to No. 21 Ohio State 2-1 in the Big Ten Tournament Title game, where they almost rallied one more time. Illinois produced 11 out of their 28 goals in the five game span. History was made along the way as well. The victory over Michigan was the program's first ever win in Ann Arbor. In addition, the victory over PSU was the program's first win over a top-3 ranked school.

Individually, junior Vanessa DiBernardo and senior Niki Read are red hot. DiBernardo has claimed at least one point in five of the past six contests. Meanwhile Niki Read, who did not score her first goal of the season until Senior Day on Oct. 21, has scored a goal in three of previous five games, including the huge equalizer against Minnesota in the Quarterfinals, which was assisted by DiBernardo.  

The Orange and Blue finished first in the Big Ten in total number of shots in conference play. The Illini have accomplished an impressive 223 shots over 11 contests. The Illini have been a tough team to beat when they have outshot their opponent, currently 8-1-2 on the year.

Individually, Vanessa DiBernardo broke the school record when she attempted 11 shots in the 1-0 win over Iowa in Champaign. The junior ranks first amongst all players in Big Ten play in total shots (69) and shots per game (6.27). Freshman Nicole Breece joined in on the action when she finished ranked No. 10 in conference competition in shots per game with 3.44.

Three has proven to be the magic winning number for the Illini over the course of the program's history. The Orange and Blue have won their past 77 games when netting three or more goals, dating back to the 1999 season. Illinois has added four this season with a 3-1 win over Milwaukee, 3-2 win over Michigan State, a 4-1 win vs Nebraska and a 3-2 OT win over No. 24 Michigan. The number three also stands for the number of come from behind victories the Illinois squad has rallied to claim. The number two has also been kind as well. The squad is undefeated at 5-0-1 when they score at least two goals. Finally, the number one. Illinois is 8-2-2 in games in which the defense and goalkeeper Steph Panozzo has limited the opposition to one goal or less. In addition, when the Illini are the first to score in a game, the Orange and Blue are 7-2-0.
The Orange and Blue have scored 28 total goals thus far this season and they have come from 11 different players. Vanessa DiBernardo leads the pack with eight goals. The junior won Big Ten offensive player of the week twice now. First for her game-winning hat-trick performance over Michigan State on Oct. 4, and then her two goal effort in the 3-2 OT win over Michigan that included the game-winning penalty kick.

The Illinois offense has also been injected with youth in freshmen Nicole Breece and Taylore Peterson, as they have made an immediate impact. The duo has combined for five goals, four game-winners, three assists and a clutch BTT PK. On the opposite side of the spectrum are seniors Nicole Denenberg, Marissa Holden, Niki Read and Shayla Mutz. Denenberg and Holden have accumulated two goals each this season. Mutz and Read came alive on Senior Day as Shayla netted her second and third goals of the year while Read produced her first. Read then continued her hot streak by scoring in the next two games against Michigan and Minnesota. Allie Osoba is fresh off of scoring in the BTT title game and will look to keep the streak alive against Mizzou. Osoba has recorded two goals in her junior campaign. Rounding out the list with one goal each are Kassidy Brown, Amy Feher and Aliina Weykamp.