Extra work paying off for freshmen

CHAMPAIGN – Just because they're the ninth-ranked recruiting class in the nation, that doesn't absolve eight newcomers to the Illinois women's soccer team from getting the typical freshman treatment.

The upperclassmen still make sure Courtney Bell, Chichi Nweke and other Illini rookies dutifully lug the team's equipment off the field after practices or matches.

Illini soccer off the mark

CHAMPAIGN – The 10th-ranked Illinois women's soccer team got plenty of chances Sunday against Ohio State.

But the Illini had trouble getting their shots on goal, losing 2-0.

Soccer streak alive

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois women's soccer team has had many firsts, but it accomplished something Friday for the first time in the program's history.

Freshman forward Courtney Bell had her first multiple-goal game as the 10th-ranked Illini defeated Minnesota 3-0 and improved to 4-0 in the Big Ten for the first time.

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Masar earns league honor

PARK RIDGE – Illinois soccer junior forward and former Urbana star Ella Masar was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Masar scored two goals, including the game winner, in the Illini's 3-2 victory against No. 9 Penn State on Sunday. It was Masar's first two-goal game of her college career and third career game-winning tally.

Second-half rally sends record

CHAMPAIGN – For much of the first half, the loudest thing about the largest home crowd in Illinois women's soccer history was its apparel.

A sea of mostly orange-clad fans – 2,667, to be exact – flocked to Illinois Soccer Stadium on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon ready, willing and eager to cheer on their Orange and Blue.

Illini must stay sharp to cut down Nittany Lions

CHAMPAIGN – At least two things truly distinguish Paula Faherty from the rest of her teammates.

The midfielder is the lone fifth-year senior on the Illinois women's soccer team. She's also the only current Illini ever to have beaten Penn State.

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Bayne fuels Illini soccer victory

EVANSTON – Jessica Bayne scored twice to lead the 19th-ranked Illinois women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory Sunday at Northwestern.

Bayne scored with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half off a feed from Urbana product Ella Masar.

Illinois pelts Badger goalie

MADISON, Wis. – Eva Strickland scored the winning goal to lead the No. 19 Illinois women's soccer team to a 4-2 victory against Wisconsin on Friday in a Big Ten opener.

The goal total was the most by Illinois (5-4) against Wisconsin. The four goals also were the second most in Illini history in a conference opener.