UI gift-wraps victory
CHAMPAIGN – She got a free meal from her folks, and her team won another game.
Not a bad 32nd birthday for Illinois women's soccer coach Jillian Ellis.
Ellis' Illini wrapped up their perfect first weekend of the season Sunday with a 5-0 thrashing of Quincy in the home opener.
On Friday, they edged Illinois State 1-0 in Normal.
"Yee haw," said Ellis, whose parents made the trip in from Virginia to help her celebrate. "I'm pleased to have a win on the road and a win at home. These aren't conference games, but with so many new faces it's given us a chance to see players play and develop chemistry."
The Illini treated their coach to a bagful of gummy worms (her favorite), ice cream cake and a second half she'll never forget.
All five goals came after halftime. Kelly Buszkiewicz got it started 1 minute, 15 seconds in with the assistance of Emily Brown. Then it was Brown's turn. Then Stephanie Steinhoff. And Lisa Baldwin. And Kim Doetzel.
The Illini, who needed overtime to beat Quincy (0-2) last season, fired 31 shots to the Hawks' two.
"This year, we dominated, we had more control of the game," Ellis said. "That to me says we're developing and emerging as a team."
The Illini leave next weekend for Louisville, where they'll play two games in the Cardinal Classic before traveling to Ohio State for the Big Ten opener.