SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Illinois’ soccer team did something Friday that it hadn’t done since 2007: losing its season opener.
Tenth-ranked Notre Dame defeated the Illini 4-1. UI freshman Casey Conine tallied her team’s goal, scoring in the 66th minute.
“Like any game this early in the season, there was the good, the bad and the ugly,” Illini coach Janet Rayfield said. “The good was that we were better in a lot of ways than we were in our preseason scrimmage against Virginia. The bad and the ugly were due to some inexperience that we have to move through quickly. It’s tough when you don’t have a lot of preseason scrimmages and you start against an opponent like this, but it is the best thing for our team because we will certainly learn from this and be better after (Friday).”
In track & field:
Green in Pan-Am finals. Illini sophomore Juan Paul Green advanced to the finals of the men’s 400 meters Friday at the Pan American Junior Championships in Medellin, Colombia. Green won his semifinal section in 47.80 seconds.
Former Illini Morolake Akinosun reached the finals of the women’s 100, clocking 11.50 to finish third in her section of the semis. Akinosun, a sophomore, announced in late July she was transferring to Texas.
Badgers hire ex-Illini aide. Former Illini coach Gavin Kennedy is returning to the Big Ten as Wisconsin men’s assistant cross-country and track distance-running coach.
Mick Byrne, the Badgers’ director of cross-country and track and field, announced the hiring this week.
Kennedy coached men’s distance runners at Mississippi during the 2012-13 academic year. He was the men’s cross-country head coach and assistant track coach for distance runners at Illinois in 2011-12.
Illini land commitment. St. Charles North senior Emily Brodner orally committed to play softball at Illinois. The catcher was a Kane County Chronicle All-Area second-team selection as a junior.
Brodner played travel ball this year for the Phoenix-based Arizona Hotshots Gold team.
Two recruits honored. Two Illini recruits were named to the MaxPreps Preseason All-America volleyball team. Setter Jordan Poulter of Eaglecrest High School in Centennial, Colo., and outside hitter Beth Prince of Avon (Ind.) High School are among 28 players honored by MaxPreps. Poulter and Prince are Class of 2015 commitments.