CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois women’s soccer team finalized its 2015 class Friday, adding two midfielders, a forward and a defender.
The biggest sports stories of 2014 happened as much off the field as on the field. Some involved children and teenagers who inspired us. Others involved NFL superstars, an NFL newcomer and their commissioner. A look back at the 14 biggest of '14:
NO. 14: LUIS SUAREZ AND THE WORLD CUP
CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois soccer season ended the first full week of November with a 2-0 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament, but the postseason honors for Jannelle Flaws haven’t stopped.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois forward Jannelle Flaws was named an NSCAA/Continental Tire third-team All-American on Friday — the first All-America honor of her career. The Glenview native led the Big Ten and tied for 11th in the NCAA with 17 goals this season. She was named first-team All-Great Lakes Region on Wednesday and unanimous Big Ten Forward of the Year on Nov. 4.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois’ Jannelle Flaws earned her second consecutive NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Great Lakes Region first-team honor Wednesday. The redshirt senior forward led the Big Ten and finished tied for 11th in the nation with 17 goals this season.
Jannelle Flaws’ 17 goals during the 2014 season ranked ninth in the nation and first in the Big Ten — even with Illinois women’s soccer making a quick postseason exit in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Illinois and Wisconsin’s streak of scoreless soccer stretched to nearly 135 straight minutes after both teams continued the lockdown defense from Friday’s regular season finale into Wednesday’s Big Ten tournament quarterfinal.
CHAMPAIGN — The addition of Maryland and Rutgers bumped the Big Ten women’s soccer schedule to 13 conference matches this season. It was a change Illinois coach Janet Rayfield said Big Ten coaches would evaluate at season’s end.
They did. The 13-game Big Ten schedule will likely last just one year.
CHAMPAIGN — The Parkland volleyball coaching staff has decades of combined experience. And head coach Cliff Hastings has been on both sides of recruiting as a high school and club coach and now in his sixth year leading the Cobras.
But for one player last year, the best recruiter had no ties to the program — other than location.
CHAMPAIGN — The 17 shots Illinois got off in the second half of Sunday’s game against Michigan is a number most teams wouldn’t be too upset about having in two games.
The Illini ended up with 23 total shots, but just six on goal in a 2-1 loss to the Wolverines. The rush of shots in the second half all pretty much had one thing in common — near miss.