CHAMPAIGN – She gets knocked down, but she gets up again.
Illinois' Lisa Baldwin had to be helped off the field when she twisted her ankle in the first half of Sunday's game against Eastern Illinois, but she returned after intermission to score her second and third goals of the season and lead the Illini to a 3-0 victory.
"Coming back the way she did showed a lot of courage," said UI head coach Tricia Taliaferro, 2-0 in her first season at the helm. "It shows a tremendous level of maturity to respond with that kind of performance."
Illinois, which lost 7-1 in 1997 and 4-2 last season to EIU, took a 1-0 halftime lead with a late goal by Emily Brown, assisted by Laura Freeman. The UI kept the Panthers from getting decent scoring opportunities all game.
"We played strong defensively," said Taliaferro, who saw the Illini outshoot Ohio Valley Conference preseason favorite EIU 34-6 and limit the Panthers to two second-half shots. "Although we didn't convert right away, we showed a lot of patience in waiting for openings and then took advantage of our opportunities."
Baldwin put the game away by converting passes from Sarah Rowland and Heidi Holtzman.
"I've been on the receiving end of some great passes," she said.
The Illini next head play Friday and Sunday at the West Virginia Invitational.