The Illini women's soccer team opens at 7 p.m. Friday with a No. 17 ranking and its eyes on a seventh straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Staff writer Jeff Huth's five things you need to know about Janet Rayfield's squad heading into its 2009 debut against Illinois State at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium:
CHAMPAIGN — Junior forward Christina Sahly scored a goal in the 68th minute, giving Illinois a 1-0 victory against Cincinnati in an exhibition match Friday.
Janet Rayfield's Illini kick off the season with an exhibition soccer match against Cincinnati at 4 p.m. Friday.
CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois soccer team was ranked 17th by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in its preseason poll Tuesday.
Which former Illini is the best at his current sport?
1. Deron Williams, NBA — Utah Jazz star and Olympic gold medalist among top couple point guards in the league
Former Illinois and Urbana star Ella Masar is recovering from an injury, but she's still enjoying her first season in professional soccer.
Highlights of the upcoming 2009-10 season at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, read Sunday's The News-Gazette and go to www.krannertcenter.com, where the schedule and details (including on the third Biennial Guitar Festival) will be up in mid-June.
Tickets go on sale July 16 at 10 a.m. Orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Waiting lists will be formed for sold-out performances.
For the first time since 2005, Illinois and Illinois State will play in soccer.
The Redbirds will open their season with a 7 p.m. match in Champaign on Aug. 21. The Illini lead the all-time series 5-2-1, including a 3-0 win in the last meeting in 2005.
CHAMPAIGN — Basketball player Trent Meacham and soccer player Emily Zurrer earned the prestigious Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor on Tuesday night at the Fighting Illini Scholar-Athlete Awards Reception.