Nov. 11, 2000
ILLINOIS DEFEATS XAVIER, ADVANCES IN NCAA Illinois defeated Xavier, 2-0, in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament in Champaign in front of 403 fans at chilly Illini Soccer Field. The win sets up a showdown with Penn State at Noon CST Sunday in State College, Pa. The Illini take a 14-7 record into the match. Penn State at 20-2-1 is ranked No. 7 in the nation.
BIG TEN FAIRS WELL IN FIRST ROUND Four Big Ten teams made the field, all four are still alive in the second round. Besides Penn State and Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin each advanced by winning first found matches. Michigan defeated Miami, OH, 4-3 in 2OT while Wisconsin downed Princeton 1-0 in 2OT. The Wolverines meet top-seeded Notre Dame in the second round while Wisconsin travels to Connecticut.
This is just the second time that the Big Ten has advanced four teams to the second round of the NCAA since the organization began sponsoring womenÕs soccer tournaments in 1982. The Big Ten sent six teams to the second round in 1998 (Penn State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan). The Big Ten also sent five teams to the round of 32 when the league actually qualified five teams for the 32-team tournament in 1996.
Besides the four Big Ten teams, Marquette (20-2-1) is also in the field. The Illini defeated the Eagles, 3-1, in an exhibition game in August. Marquette advanced with a 2-1 overtime win over Wright State to play at Texas A&M this weekend.
ILLINOIS ONE OF 13 NEWCOMERS Illinois is one of 13 teams making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The other first-time participants are Arizona State, Boston University, Florida State, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Liberty, Miami, Ohio, Quinnipiac, Richmond, San Jose State, Southwest Missouri State and West Virginia.
Of those 13 teams, five are still alive in the second round (Arizona State, Boston U., Florida State, Illinois, and Richmond). However all four other teams besides Illinois defeated a team which was also a first-time qualifier in the first round. Of the 13 newcomers, only Illinois defeated a team with previous NCAA experience in the opening round.
TOURNAMENT DATES Nov. 11-12 Second Round, Nov. 17-18-19 -- Round of 16, Nov. 24, 25 or 26 -- Quarterfinals, Dec. 1-3 WomenÕs College Cup in San Jose, Calif.
The winner of the Penn State Illinois match-up will face the winner of Boston University-Dartmouth match-up in the round of 16 next weekend. Dartmouth is ranked 18th in the final NSCAA national poll. The Illini downed Boston U. 3-0 last season at the Northwestern Invite.
ILLINI OUT-SHOOT OPPONENTS Illinois has consistently fired more shots than their opponents this season, combining for a Big Ten leading 455 shots. Over half (232) of those shots have been on goal. Opponents have just 230 shots. The Illini have out-shot their opponent in 19 of 21 games, this season. Only Penn State (twice) has had more shots than Illinois head to head in 2000.
THE ILLINOIS-PENN STATE SERIES Penn State holds a 6-0 advantage against the Fighting Illini, but four of those matches have been decided by one goal. The Illini have made steady progress against the Nittnay Lions in the programÕs four year. This is the second year that the teams have met twice. A look back at the six matches:
Sept. 28, 1997, Penn State 2, Illinois 1 (at PSU)-- Julie Schueller scored the IlliniÕs first Big Ten goal in school history in the 67th minute. Rachel Hoffman and Erin Killough scored for the Lions, who led 1-0 at the half. Penn State led in shots on goal 18-6.
Sept. 20, 1998, Penn State 3, Illinois 2 (at UI) -- Illinois never trailed in the game until the 88th minute and led until the 78th minute. IllinoisÕ Kelly Buszkiewicz and Penn StateÕs Courtney Lawson each scored in the first half to make 1-1. The IlliniÕs Emily Brown redirected a Buszkiewicz shot in the 61st minute to give Illinois a 2-1 lead. Sharri Picket tied the game for Penn State in the 78th minute before Lawson netted her second goal of the game.
Nov. 6, 1998, Penn State 1, Illinois 0 (at PSU, Big Ten Tournament). The Illini were making their first Big Ten Tournament appearance. Penn State got its only goal from Carole Dutchka. The Lions out-shot Illinois by just a 13-9 margin.
Oct, 11, 1999, Penn State 4, Illinois 1 (at UI). The key for Penn State in its two convincing wins over Illinois has been to score early. ThatÕs what happened on this afternoon as Penn State burst ahead to a 4-0 halftime lead. Christie Welsh scored twice for Penn State. Erin Miller and Courtney Lawson also netted goals for Penn State. The Illini had a chance to respond in the first half, but Emily Oleksiuk had eight saves. Illinois out-shot Penn State 16-13. Emily Brown scored on a feed from Kelly Buszkiewicz.
Oct. 6, 2000, Penn State 3, Illinois 0 (at PSU). Penn State out-shot Illinois, 10-7, but the Illini had more corner kicks than PSU (8-4). TÕhe Lions scored three times in those seven shots. Penn State deflated the Illini with a Christie Welsh goal just 11:04 into the contest. Joanna Lohman poked home a loose ball off a Bonnie Young corner kick at 24:39, then Welsh scored on a through ball.
FINALLY, THE NEAR UPSET.... In front of a crowd of 681 fans, Illinois played arguably its best soccer in school history. Illinois scored an early first-half goal against No.7 Penn State, then almost held on to advance to the Big Ten championship game. Penn State scored with under ten minutes to play in regulation, then won the game with goal in the 123rd minute in the third overtime.
After an Illinois foul, Penn St. defender Bonnie Young launched a 30-yard free kick just off the hands of Illinois goalkeeper Sarah Anderson, to give the Nittnay Lions the victory. The goal was YoungÕs third of the season.
Illinois broke open the contest in the middle of the first period as junior forward Emily Brown scored from 15 yards out to give the Illini a 1-0 lead at the 23:45 mark.
Penn St. rallied late in the game and evened the match on a goal by senior forward Erin Miller off the assist from Stephanie Smith. Both teams failed to score in the first two overtimes, despite numerous opportunities. Penn St. outshot the Illini 36-11, but Illinois was able to defend against their offensive attack.
Illinois freshman goalkeeper Sarah Anderson held off the Nittnay Lions, contributing with 13 saves in the contest. Penn State goalkeeper Emily Oleksiuk finished with seven saves.
ILLINOIS SET SCHOOL RECORDS SET IN 2000 Illinois set several school records during the 2000, including one for wins in a season (14). Other records set during the 2000 campaign. First NCAA appearance
A LITTLE HISTORY MAKING AGAINST XAVIER Here are the names and number that will forever be a part of Illinois history:
BROWN, HODSON NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM Emily Brown and Sue Hodson were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team. Brown scored three of Illinoisfour goals over the weekend, including one against No. 7 Penn State. Brown assisted on the other Illinois goal (by Tara Schuling). For the year Brown has 15 goals and five assists.
Hodson is one of the stalwarts on the Illinois defense, which set a school record for fewest goals allowed, earns the honor for the second straight season.
OTHER NCAA NOTES
Three teams with Illinois ties made the field. Montana (15-4-1), the former team of Illini junior midfielder Colleen Joyce won the Big Sky Tournament and upset Washington State 1-0 in the first round. The Grizzlies travel to No. 2 Washington in the second round. Former Illinois coach Jillian Ellis, now the head coach at UCLA, boasts the sixth-ranked team after winning the Pac 10. The Bruins meet USC, a team they tied 1-1 earlier in the year, in the second round. No. 4 seed Nebraska, the former school of Illini athletic trainer Ruth Cook, hosts Richmond.
The Big Ten ranked third in total bids with four. The Pac-10 Conference garnered seven bids followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference (6). The Big East, Ivy Group and West Coast Conference had three bids apiece.
BROWN MOVES UP BIG TEN CHARTS With 45 career goals, IllinoisEmily Brown has a chance to become the all-time Big Ten goal scorer next season. Currently Brown is fourth, just one goal out of third (Nicole Lee, Minnesota), four shy of Jennifer McElmury of Minnesota (49), and 13 behind all-time leader Rachel Hoffman of Penn St. (58).
FREEMAN, JOYCE EARN BIG TEN PLAYER OF WEEK One of the strengths of this Illinois team has been its bench play. That was especially evident against Purdue and Indiana when sophomore forward Laura Freeman scored three goals (two vs. Indiana) in reserve. That earned her Big Ten Player of the Week honors for that week.
Colleen Joyce earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors this week after scoring three goals in wins over Western Illinois and Iowa State. Joyce now has ten goals and three assists for the season.
JUST FOR KICKS.... The Illinois defense has been solid all year long. Sue Hodson and Heidi Holtzman were joined by Rebecca Patrick, who returned this year after an ACL injury forced her to miss all of last year. Patrick started all 22 games as a freshman. Meghan Kolze switched to the backfield and has been a big lift on defense.
Looking for Nicknames: Heidi Holtzman is the Little General. At 5-2, Holtzman is a take charge player and leads the Illinois defense. Emily Brown has a nickname of Elvis. After her teammates called her ÒE,Ó one of her coaches reminded them that Elvis himself also was called E. The name stuck.
Illinois open its brand new soccer stadium in 1999 and hold a 16-5 record at stadium in two seasons.