Soccer: Illini make adjustments, shut out Louisville
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois rebounded after its season-opening loss to Notre Dame with a 2-0 victory against Louisville on Sunday afternoon at Illinois Soccer Stadium.
The Illini got on the board late in the first half with Abby Elinsky’s second career goal. The freshman defender scored Illinois’ lone goal against Notre Dame off a corner kick and tallied in the same fashion against Louisville on a set piece just before the 41st minute.
Last year’s leading scorer, Jannelle Flaws, made it 2-0 less than two minutes into the second half when she left footed a shot past Louisville goalkeeper Paige Brown.
“The things we tried to do better today than we did on Friday, I think we succeeded in that,” Illinois coach Janet Rayfield said. “Our defensive pressure in our attacking half — as opposed to kind of sitting back and letting them come at us a little bit — we were much better. In fact, I think our second goal was created off our defensive pressure in our attacking half.”
Rayfield again split keeper duty between sophomores Michelle Denley and Claire Wheatley. Denley started her second straight game and made four saves in the first half. Wheatley came on for the second half and made two saves.
“Michelle’s really good coming off her line. Claire’s athleticism allows her to make some of the saves like she did in the second half,” Rayfield said. “Now, I think over the next week or so we’ve got to decide who’s the most consistent.
“They’re both capable, but to be our starting goalkeeper you have to be capable and consistent.”
The Illini (1-1-0) will be back in action Friday against Arizona State. The 7 p.m. start against the Sun Devils will end Illinois’ three-game homestand to start the season.