Cowgirls keeper blanks pesky Illini

STILLWATER, Okla. — Although no Illinois women's soccer team ever had faced Oklahoma State before Friday, the Illini were well aware of the Cowgirls' reputation.

DiBernardo avoids sophomore slump

CHAMPAIGN — For some unfortunate athletes, the sophomore slump is more than just an abstract concept.

For Vanessa DiBernardo, it's merely a rumor.

"I've heard of it," she said. "That's definitely something I do want to avoid."

Soccer knocks off defending champs

CHAMPAIGN — For a kite-flying enthusiast or a wind-farm owner, it could not have been a more ideal day.

For a soccer player, not so much.

Especially when the wind — clocked at a steady 36 mph with gusts up to 47 mph at the start of Sunday's match at Illinois Soccer Stadium — was blowing directly in your face,

NCAA soccer: Mykines kickin' it up a notch

CHAMPAIGN — It probably should come as no surprise that Illinois produced the Offensive Player of the Big Ten Tournament in women's soccer.

After all, the No. 16 Illini emerged from the eight-team scrum at Northwestern's Lakeside Field in Evanston last week with the first-place trophy.

What likely did open some eyes, however, was the identity of the award recipient.

Illinois Soccer NCAA Preview

The Illini get to host, but their first-round opponent is no picnic.

Illini to open against defending champs

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois soccer team will begin its NCAA tournament journey against the team that starred in the 2010 event.

The Illini will host defending champion Notre Dame in a first-round match at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Illini win OT thriller — and earn NCAA berth

EVANSTON — When Illinois started the Big Ten slate 0-2-1, all those fuzzy feelings from a 6-2 nonconference slate started to disappear.

The NCAA tournament might have been looking bleak.

Well, Janet Rayfield's never-say-die Illini haven't lost since that three-match road swing ended without a victory.

Mykines lifts Illini to Big Ten title match

EVANSTON — Not long ago, Illinois simply was hoping to make the 64-team NCAA soccer tournament.

But a late-season flourish — and a run to the Big Ten tournament title match — has Janet Rayfield's hard-charging bunch wanting more.

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.

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