Illinois gave 21st-ranked Minnesota a rare scare before falling 1-0 Friday night in a Big Ten women's soccer match in Champaign.
Jennifer McElmury, last year's conference Player of the Year, scored from 25 feet away with 4:15 to go, spoiling the Illini's bid for a first Big Ten and home victory.
Still, after back-to-back losses to Eastern Illinois (7-1) and Iowa (2-0), UI coach Jillian Ellis will take it.
"I'm ecstatic," Ellis said. "This was a great indication of how well we can play."
Amy Bessette recorded 10 saves for the Illini, who were outshot 13-9 by the Gophers, 7-1-1 overall, 3-0 Big Ten.
Illinois dropped to 4-3, 0-2, and will get its second Top 25 test Sunday when it travels to State College, Pa., for a date with No. 24 Penn State.
"Now, we're looking for consistency in our performance," Ellis said. "What we're looking for now is to go in there and put together two good games in a row."
In men's tennis: Injury sidelines Franklin.
A neck ailment to Cary Franklin forced the Illini sophomore to default his third-round match Friday at the ITA National Clay Courts in Baltimore.
Franklin woke up with an extremely sore neck and couldn't play against Mississippi's Sebastian Lami.
Franklin's injury also caused the Illini to default a doubles match that was suspended by darkness Thursday. The UI team of Franklin and junior Oliver Freelove was down one set and trailing 4-2 in the second.
In women's tennis: Illini starts strong.
In her first match as an Illini, Carla Rosenberg upset the No. 4 seed, advancing to the second round of the Joan Thompson Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.
Rosenberg, a freshman from Dallas, scored a 6-4, 6-3 win over Callie Creighton of host Vanderbilt.
"This win is obviously an indication that she's going to really help our team," UI coach Jennifer Roberts said.
The news wasn't as good for Rosenberg's teammates, all seven dropping singles matches.
"We had a lot of tough draws," Roberts said. "We played almost all seeded players, but this is the type of competition that will make us a better team."