Illini soccer misses NCAA tournament

Illini soccer misses NCAA tournament

Janet Rayfield wanted her Illinois soccer team prepared.

So, the Illini practiced and went through a workout on Monday morning. Without any assurance Illinois would find itself in the 64-team NCAA tournament.

But by the time all the selections were unveiled on Monday afternoon, Rayfield's Illini were left out of the field, narrowly missing out as Illinois was seeking its first NCAA tournament berth since 2013.

Illinois (11-8-1) saw itself on the bubble entering the Big Ten tournament, and the Illini's 1-0 loss to Penn State this past Friday in the Big Ten tournament semifinals ultimately sealed their NCAA tournament fate and ended their season.

Big Ten tournament champion Minnesota is joined by fellow Big Ten schools Northwestern, Penn State, Ohio State, Rutgers and Wisconsin in the 64-team tournament that starts on Friday.