Panozzo saves day for Illinois soccer
EVANSTON — After playing to a 1-1 draw through regulation and two overtimes against Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament, the Illinois women's soccer team needed a big effort from goalkeeper Steph Panozzo during a shootout.
The junior delivered, stopping two Ohio State shots as the second-seeded and 18th-ranked Illini won the shootout 4-2, advancing to Friday's semifinal against third-seeded Michigan State.
"We got into the huddle and said we had trained for this and done this, everyone go do your job," Illinois coach Janet Rayfield said. "Steph needed to make one save and everyone had to put their attempts on frame, and that's how you win a game like this. Steph made two saves. She has great quickness so if she can get a jump, guess right and get to the right side she has a chance to make those saves."
After Ohio State took a 1-0 lead, Vanessa DiBernardo evened the score, tallying the lone goal for the Illini late in the first half.
With the win, the Illini (14-4-2) stretched their program-record unbeaten streak to nine matches. The last time Illinois lost was Sept. 25 at Penn State.