Illini Year In Review

Top male athletes

1. Mikel Leshoure, football. After roaring through 2010 season, junior All-America running back headed to NFL's Lions.

Soccer player earns elite invite

CARSON, Calif. — Illinois women's soccer player Vanessa DiBernardo was among 24 collegiate players selected to participate in the U.S. Under-23 National Team Training Camp.

The camp began Sunday and continues through May 1.

Soccer team signs five recruits

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois women’s soccer coach Janet Rayfield announced Tuesday the signings of five Class of 2011 recruits from four states.
The newcomers include Megan Green of Naperville; Cat Meyer of Bedford, Texas; Katie Reed of Coatesville, Ind.; Lizzie Sanscrainte of Vernon Hills; and Aliina Weycamp of Grand Haven, Mich.

Rayfield receives coaching honor

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois soccer coach Janet Rayfield was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Mondo Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year on Thursday.
As a result, Rayfield’s name will be placed on the ballot for the NSCAA/Mondo National Coach of the Year award. The winner will be announced Jan. 14.

Volleyball turns attention to second-place Penn State

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Next up: Penn State.

The Illinois volleyball team knocked off Ohio State on Friday night 25-20, 25-17, 17-25, 27-25 to set up a showdown against second-place Penn State on Saturday night in State College, Pa.

Soccer falls in first round of NCAAs

Southern Cal eliminates Illini 3-1.

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Janet Rayfield's Illini are facing USC in a first-round match in the NCAA women's soccer tournament in South Bend, Ind. Friday's opener started at 4 p.m. C-U time.

Hilbrands skips redshirt for tourney

CHAMPAIGN – The two options confronting Jordan Hilbrands could not have been more different.

Return to action from an injury, but with the guarantee of no more than a handful of matches – perhaps as few as two – and the certainty this would be the end of her college soccer career.

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When the NCAA selection committee bracketed the 64-team field, it did No. 13 Illinois no favors. Or No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 22 Southern Cal, for that matter. All three were assigned to South Bend for the first and second rounds.

DiBernardo rates top freshman honor

PARK RIDGE — Illinois midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo was selected Big Ten Freshman of the Year in women’s soccer, the conference announced Wednesday.
DiBernardo, who also earned a spot on the 11-player All-Big Ten first team, leads the league in goals (11) and points (27).