Women's Soccer
NCAA Tournament Second Round Notes: Illinois vs. #7 Portland

Sophomore Nicole Breece and the Illini will play Portland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 11 a.m. in Lincoln, Neb.
Sophomore Nicole Breece and the Illini will play Portland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 11 a.m. in Lincoln, Neb.

Nov. 20, 2013

 Game 22: Illinois (10-8-3) vs. #7 Portland (17-2-1)
 Date Friday, Nov. 22, 2013
 Time 11 a.m. CT
 Location Nebraska Soccer Field | Lincoln, Neb.
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Live Stream Watch
 Series History Portland leads 1-0
 Last Meeting #2 Portland won 4-1 in Portland, Ore. (9/11/09)

 NCAA Tournament Links
 Tournament Central NCAA Tournament Central
 Ticket Information Buy Tickets - $7 (Adults), $5 (Youth, HS Student, Senior Citizen)
 Bracket Printable Bracket | Interactive Bracket
 Preview Interviews Coach Rayfield | Vanessa DiBernardo | Claire Wheatley
 Social Media @IlliniSoccer   |  Facebook | Instagram
 Game Notes Illinois | Portland

Illinois is...
...in the second round for the ninth time in 12 NCAA appearances
...10-11-3 in NCAA Tournament games
...2-5-1 in NCAA Tournament second round games
...7-3-2 in NCAA Tournament first round games
...6-1 all-time in penalty kick shootouts
...in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row
...one of five Big Ten teams left in the NCAA Tournament
...playing Portland for the second time ever
...second in the Big Ten with 49 goals (T-21st in NCAA)
...led by Jannelle Flaws' 21 goals (UI Record, T-4th in NCAA)
...10-4-0 when scoring more than 2 goals
...6-0-1 when leading at halftime
...7-1-2 when scoring first
...4-4-3 in day games this year

NCAA Tournament Second Round: Portland
NCAA Round Two Preview: Following its road victory in penalty kicks at Washington State, Illinois will head to Lincoln, Neb., for round two of the NCAA Tournament. The Illini will face No. 7 and third-seeded Portland at Nebraska Soccer Field on Friday, Nov. 22 at 11 a.m. CT. Illinois will play in the NCAA Tournament second round for the third year in a row and ninth time in 12 total appearances. The winner of Friday's game will play the winner of Nebraska and Boston College on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. in the third round.

Series History vs. Portland: Portland, which was ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time, won the only meeting between the two teams by a score of 4-1 on Sept. 11, 2009 in Portland, Ore. Former Illini Marissa Mykines scored Illinois' lone goal in the contest.

Scouting the Pilots (RPI: 17): No. 7 Portland earned a three seed in this year's tournament after winning a share of the West Coast Conference Championship, the program's 13th WCC Title. The Pilots, who won the national title in 2002 and 2005, are making their 14th straight appearance in the NCAA Second Round. Portland has won 14 of its last 15 games, including a 2-0 shutout over Seattle in the NCAA Tournament opening round. They are led by Micaela Capelle and Amanda Frisbie with eight goals apiece, while the Pilots have outscored opponents 40-15 on the year. Goalkeeper Erin Dees boasts a 0.70 goals against average and has been a part of nine shutouts.

Ticket Information: Tickets are available online via huskers.com for Rounds Two and Three of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. The Round 2 ticket is good for both matches on Friday: Illinois vs. Portland (11 a.m.) and Nebraska vs. Boston College (2 p.m.). Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youth, high school age and under, and kids under three are free. Parking will be available for $5 in nearby lots or garages.

NCAA Tournament History
Illinois is in the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time in 17 seasons. Overall, the Illini are 10-11-3 in tournament action and have reached the second round the past three seasons. UI's top finish was the Elite Eight during the 2004 season, while they also reached 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 No. 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 downed Nebraska, 2-1. Illinois hit 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, dominating 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 No. 13 Missouri in Columbia, Mo., during the second round. UI fell to eventual national champion North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen.

After an opening-round exit at the hands of No. 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 then fell to No. 4 Oklahoma State in the second round, 1-0. Last season, Illinois advanced past Missouri in a shootout before falling to eventual national champion North Carolina in the second round.

With its 3-1 penalty kicks victory over Washington State, Illinois reached the NCAA Tournament second round for the second-straight time in penalty kicks, as they did so at Missouri last season. The Illini have moved on in all three games featuring penalty kicks, with the other also coming over Missouri in 2008. It also marked the ninth time in 12 appearances that UI has advanced to the second round, as they are now 7-3-2 all-time in the first round. This year's senior class is playing in the postseason tournament for the fourth year in a row and is 1-3-2 during their career.

Last Time Out
On a muddy Lower Soccer Field, Illinois and No. 21 Washington State ended double overtime in a scoreless 0-0 tie, but the Illini edged the Cougars 3-1 in penalty kicks and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley made a career-high 11 saves in regulation and two more during the shootout, and senior Vanessa DiBernardo sent the Illini to the next round with the clinching penalty kick.

After 110 minutes of play in sloppy conditions due to snow and rain from the night before, the first round game went to penalty kicks to decide a winner. Wheatley made a clutch save on the first WSU attempt, while redshirt-sophomore Aliina Weykamp found the back of the net to put the Illini ahead 1-0 after the first round.

Wheatley again made a save on the second WSU attempt and sophomore Taylore Peterson connected on her attempt to give UI a 2-0 edge after two rounds. The Cougars scored during round three, while the Illini were stopped, making it 2-1.

WSU sailed its fourth attempt wide, setting up DiBernardo for the game-winner in the fourth round. The Naperville, Ill., native came through for the Orange and Blue to keep the season alive. Despite getting outshot 29-10 and trailing 11-4 in corner kicks, the Illini held their own on the road and earned a trip to the next round.

Record 8 Big Ten Teams Make NCAAs
The Illini were one of a conference-record eight Big Ten women's soccer teams to earn a bid into the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State all earned berths to the national tournament, breaking the previous record of six Big Ten teams that occurred in 1998, 2002 and 2010. Five teams - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State - advanced to the second round.

Illinois' Penalty Kick Success
Illinois has had consistent success in penalty kicks under head coach Janet Rayfield. The Illini have gone to a penalty kick shootout seven times over the past seven years and boast a 6-1 record in those games. Illinois has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament each of the past two seasons on PKs. UI topped Washington State 3-1 this season and went a perfect 3-0 against Missouri last year. Illinois also won 3-2 in PKs vs. Minnesota (2012) and 4-2 in PKs vs. Ohio State (2011) in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament in back-to-back years. The Illini's other PK win in the NCAA Tournament came in 2008 at Missouri with a 4-3 edge. Their only loss in PKs was 4-3 to Michigan State in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament. Illinois' first PK shootout came in 2007 with a 4-3 victory over Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament.

Where the Illini Rank Statistically
Illinois ranks second in the Big Ten with 49 goals, which also is tied for 21st in the nation in the latest NCAA statistical rankings. The Illini also rank 21st in the country in scoring offense (2.33 goals per game) and 36th in assists (42). Illinois sits second in the Big Ten with 140 points and fifth with 352 shots. Illinois' 49 goals are the fourth-most in school history.

DiBernardo Is Back in Action
Senior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo missed seven games this season due to a knee sprain, but returned to action for Illinois' past four games. DiBernardo went down with the injury on Sept. 27 at the end of the first half against Iowa. The Illini went 2-5 over the next seven games without their All-American star. The Naperville, Ill., native started and played three minutes on Senior Day against Michigan State (Oct. 27), registered 12 minutes at Minnesota (Oct. 31) and tallied 64 minutes, including the entire second half, against Indiana (Nov. 6) in the Big Ten Tournament. The two-time All-American played all 110 minutes in the NCAA Tournament first round and sent the Illini to the next round with the clinching penalty kick. Illinois is 2-1-1 since she has returned and 7-3-3 with DiBernardo in the lineup this season (also missed one game while with U.S. WNT).

Wheatley Earns Weekly Honors
Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley was named Player of the Week by Top Drawer Soccer (TDS) and Chicagoland Soccer News following her top performance of the season in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Plano, Texas, native earned her first career full shutout with a career-high 11 saves during a double overtime 0-0 draw on a muddy Lower Soccer Field against No. 21 Washington State. Wheatley also made two saves during penalty kicks, as the Illini topped the Cougars 3-1 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Wheatley, who collected the weekly honor for the first time in her career, headlined the TDS Team of the Week. Despite playing in adverse field conditions, she consistently made stops to keep WSU off the board over the 110 minutes of action. Wheatley has made 98 saves in her debut season, which ranks second in the Big Ten this year and third-most all-time in school history.

Flaws By the Numbers
Big Ten Forward of the Year Jannelle Flaws is tied for fourth in the nation and leads the Big Ten with a school-record 21 goals. She has accounted for 43 percent (21 of 49) of Illinois' goals and broke Emily Brown's 14-year-old record of 18 goals from 1999. The redshirt-junior became just the second Illini ever to lead the conference in goals, joining DiBernardo, who did so with 11 goals in 2010. Flaws also leads the Big Ten with 105 shots, one shy of Brown's school record (106). She has found the net in 14 of 21 games, notched four game-winning goals and boasted five multi-goal games, including a pair of hat tricks.

Flaws posted a breakout year in just her second full season on the field. She entered 2013 with just three career goals after only playing in the 2011 season, where she was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. She was sidelined for the 2010 and 2012 seasons due to two knee injuries. After playing in only 43 career games, she ranks seventh in school history with 24 career goals.