Senior Vanessa DiBernardo and the Illini will play Boston College in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Lincoln, Neb.
Nov. 23, 2013
|Game 23: Illinois (11-8-3) vs. Boston College (12-9-1) - NCAA Tournament Third Round|
|Date||Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013|
|Time||1 p.m. CT|
|Location||Nebraska Soccer Field | Lincoln, Neb.|
|Series History||First meeting|
|NCAA Tournament Links|
|Tournament Central||NCAA Tournament Central|
|Ticket Information||$7 (Adults), $5 (Youth, HS Student, Senior Citizen)|
|Highlights||Round One: WSU | Round Two: Portland|
|Press Conferences||Round One | Round Two|
|Social Media||@IlliniSoccer | Facebook | Instagram|
|Game Notes||Illinois | Boston College|
...playing Boston College for the first time in school history
...in the third round for the 4th time in 12 NCAA appearances
...11-11-3 in NCAA Tournament games
...1-2-0 in NCAA Tournament third round games
...3-5-1 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 two Big Ten teams left in the NCAA Tournament
...coming off its fifth comeback win this season
...third in the Big Ten with 53 goals (T-3rd in school history)
...led by Jannelle Flaws' 23 goals (UI Record, T-1st in NCAA)
...11-4-0 when scoring more than 2 goals
...6-0-1 when leading at halftime
...7-1-2 when scoring first
...5-4-3 in day games this year
NCAA Sweet 16: Boston College
NCAA Tournament Round Three: Illinois will play Boston College for the first time in school history on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Lincoln, Neb., in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. The winner will play top-seeded Florida State on Nov. 29 or 30 in the Elite Eight. It will mark their fourth appearance in the Round of 16, as the Illini also made it in 2008, 2006 and 2004, which was the year UI advanced to the Elite Eight, the best postseason finish in school history.
Scouting the Eagles: Boston College is 12-9-1 after wins over Northeastern (2-0) and No. 10 Nebraska (4-1) in the NCAA Tournament. McKenzie Meehan scored her ACC-leading 19th goal against the Huskers, which was the game-winner and set a school record for most in a season. BC is one of eight ACC teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagleas have a 45-30 goal differential on the season and seven shutouts.
Ticket Information: Tickets are available at the gate for Round Three of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. 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 11-11-3 in tournament action and have reached the third round for the fourth time in school history. UI's top finish was the Elite Eight during the 2004 season, while they also reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2006 and 2008.
With its 3-1 penalty kicks victory in round one over Washington State, Illinois advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round for the second-straight season in penalty kicks, as they did so at Missouri last year. 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. Illinois improved to 3-5-1 in the second round with its 4-3 overtime win over Portland. This Illini senior class is 2-3-2 in their career after qualifying for the NCAA Tournament during all four years. They will play in the third round for the first time after being knocked out in the second round each of the past two seasons and suffering a first round exit in 2010.
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.
Round Two Recap vs. #7 Portland
Illinois (11-8-3) earned its fourth trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen with a thrilling come-from-behind 4-3 overtime victory over No. 7 Portland (17-3-1) on Saturday. The Illini battled back from a 2-0 halftime deficit on a snowy Nebraska Soccer Field and netted three second-half goals to send the NCAA second round match to an extra period. Big Ten Forward of the Year Jannelle Flaws connected on the golden goal with a minute remaining, sending Illinois to the NCAA third round for the first time since 2008.
Following a miscommunication on a Pilots free kick just outside of their box, senior Megan Pawloski stole the ball and passed it to Flaws in the center of the box, who tallied her second goal of the contest and fifth game-winner on the year. The Glenview, Ill., native increased her school-record total to 23 goals, which is tied with Rachel Daly of St. John's for the most in the nation in 2013.
Portland scored twice on just three shots in the first half, while the Illini were held scoreless on eight shots in the opening frame. Illinois' comeback started in the 54th minute when senior Vanessa DiBernardo nailed a strong shot from the top-left corner of the box into the right side of the goal above the keeper's hands, cutting the deficit in half. Six minutes later, Portland answered back with a goal by Kendrick in the 59th minute to push their lead back to two goals at 3-1.
The Illini completed the comeback with a pair of penalty kicks in the final 22 minutes of regulation. DiBernardo was fouled inside the box in the 69th minute and Flaws put away her first goal of the game on the PK. In the 84th minute, sophomore Nicole Breece was taken down inside the box, which set up DiBernardo for the equalizer on the penalty kick, her second goal of the contest and seventh on the season.
Illinois overcame a two-goal deficit for the first time in 2013 and scored the most goals by any team this season on Portland, which had only allowed 15 goals all year.
Round One Recap vs. #21 WSU
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. Illinois and Michigan are the final two Big Ten teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament.
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.
Third-Most Goals in School History
Illinois' 53 goals in 2013 are tied for the third-most in school history and matched the most under head coach Janet Rayfield. The Illini equaled their mark from 2011, which is only four goals shy of the school record of 57 set in 2000. Illinois ranks third in the Big Ten this year with 53 goals, which also is in the Top 20 in the nation in the latest NCAA statistical rankings.
DiBernardo Clutch in Postseason
Senior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo missed seven games this season due to a knee sprain, but returned to action for Illinois' past five 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. She again played the entire time (99 minutes) in the second round vs. Portland in which she netted two goals, including the equalizer on a penalty kick. Illinois is 3-1-1 since she has returned and 8-3-3 with DiBernardo in the lineup this season (also missed one game while with U.S. WNT).
Flaws By the Numbers
Big Ten Forward of the Year Jannelle Flaws is tied for first in the nation with a school-record 23 goals and is the only player remaining in the NCAA Tournament with 20-plus goals. She has accounted for 43 percent (23 of 53) 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. She has found the net in 15 of 22 games, notched five game-winning goals and boasted six multi-goal games, including a pair of hat tricks. Flaws also owns the school record for most shots in a season at 119 and most shots in a game with 14 vs. Portland.
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 45 career games, she ranks seventh in school history with 26 career goals.
Wheatley Reaches 100 Saves
Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley has made 100 saves in her debut season, which ranks second in the Big Ten this year. She is one of just three Illini keepers to ever record triple-digit saves in a season. Former Illini Steph Panozzo (2012) and Leisha Alcia (2004) share the school record for most saves in a season with 111.
Illinois has scored nearly three times as many goals in the second half (38) as it has in the first half (13). The Illini also have had a pair of golden goals: freshman Meegan Johnston in the 5-4 overtime victory at Louisville (8/25) and redshirt-junior Jannelle Flaws in the 4-3 overtime victory vs. No. 7 Portland (11/22).
Illinois has five comeback wins this season. The Illini trailed 3-2 at Louisville before completing the 5-4 victory in overtime. UI battled back from a 1-0 halftime deficit against Indiana State to win 3-2. The Orange and Blue trailed Northwestern 1-0 early one before winning 3-1 thanks to the hat trick by Jannelle Flaws. Illinois needed a second-half comeback to clinch a Big Ten Tournament berth against Minnesota, as they fell behind 1-0 before scoring three goals in eight minutes to notch the 3-1 victory. The Illini trailed 2-0 at halftime and battles back from down 3-1 in the second half vs. No. 7 Portland to win 4-3 in overtime.