DiBernardo, Flaws Honored on TDS Best XI Teams
Dec. 19, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A pair of Illini upperclassmen were named to Top Drawer Soccer's Best XI Teams announced Thursday. Senior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo was selected to the Second Team, while forward Jannelle Flaws checked in on the Third Team. The end of the year awards from TopDrawerSoccer.com recognized 33 upperclassmen and 22 freshmen for outstanding 2013 performances.
DiBernardo, who was sidelined seven games due to a knee injury, ranked second on the Illini with seven goals while helping Illinois reach the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament in her final season. She also tallied a team-high seven assists, giving her the most career assists (22) in school history, and tied Tara Hurless for the most career shots by an Illini with 325. A three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, DiBernardo led the Illini in goals in each of the past three years, including a career-high 17 goals as a sophomore, and wrapped up her career third on the all-time list with 43 goals.
Flaws was instrumental in leading the Illini to the Sweet Sixteen in this year's NCAA Tournament. The Big Ten Forward of the Year finished her season tied for first in the nation with a school-record 23 goals. She accounted for 43 percent (23 of 54) of Illinois' goals and broke Emily Brown's 14-year-old record of 18 goals from 1999. She found the net in 15 of 23 games, notched five game-winning goals and boasted six multi-goal games, including a pair of hat tricks. The Glenview, Ill., native also owns the school record for most shots in a season at 126 and most shots in a game with 14 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against 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.
DiBernardo and Flaws added to their impressive list of awards following the season, as they also were both named NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region and Academic All-Big Ten.