LINCOLN, Neb. — The Illinois soccer team trailed by two goals after three shots in its NCAA second-round match Friday against No. 7 Portland.
“We are just fighting and truly living up to the name Fighting Illini,” UI coach Janet Rayfield said.
Are they ever.
Vanessa DiBernardo scored twice in the second half, and Jannelle Flaws also scored to get the match to overtime.
Then, Megan Pawloski got a steal on a Pilots free kick and gave it to Flaws in the box, who netted her fifth game-winner of the season to give the Illini a 4-3 victory.
Flaws had a school-record 14 shots for the Illini, who outshot the Pilots 24-11 while improving to 11-8-3.
DiBernardo kicked off the comeback with a goal in the 54th minute.
“That first goal allowed us to realize that we are capable of coming back and that we were still in this game,” DiBernardo said. “We just took it one goal at a time and made a comeback that way.”
Next up for the Illini is a Sweet 16 matchup at 1 p.m. Sunday against Boston College.