Hurless is more for Illini
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Two first-half goals, including a sensational score by senior Tara Hurless, gave the Illini women''s soccer team its first road victory of the season.
Hurless scored her first goal of the season on a header from the top of the box, and Leisha Alcia made fives saves as Illinois beat Southeast Missouri State 2-0 on Friday.
"Tonight, we did what we needed to do for the win," UI coach Janet Rayfield said. "Jessica (Bayne) had a great game setting up some opportunities and Leisha kept things clean in the back. Southeast Missouri State came out with a lot of energy and (was) very disruptive to our game plan."
Urbana product Ella Masar scored the first goal of her collegiate career. The freshman took a pass from Eva Strickland as the Illini bolted to a 2-0 first-half lead.
Hurless led the Illini with three shots on goal, and scored on an assist from junior Natasha Karniski.
The biggest challenge for the Illini was getting adjusted to the speed of the artificial surface.
"Playing on (it) was something that really made a difference in the pace of the game," Rayfield said. "It forced our players to make adjustments and work harder to keep up with the speed of play."
The Illini outshot SEMO 16-8, and Alcia earned her first shutout of the season. The junior led the Illini with 12 shutouts last season.