Defense a top priority for Rayfield

In the Janet Rayfield era, Illinois soccer has outscored opponents 11 out of the past 12 seasons — by an average of nearly 12 goals each year.

In 2013, Illinois scored 54 goals, its most under Rayfield and a number buoyed by Jannelle Flaws’ program-record 23 tallies.

But the Illini also gave up 50, which stands as the most in Rayfield’s dozen seasons.

League load heavy for soccer team

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois soccer team could play just its Big Ten schedule and still probably rank among the nation’s top teams in terms of its overall strength.

The Big Ten will play a 13-match conference slate this season with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. That could change in 2015, but for this fall at least, a true Big Ten champion will be crowned.

Good day, Illini fans!


Need a basketball fix? Our beat writer chatted today. Read the transcript here

UI Soccer Team 2014

The UI Soccer team meet for Media Day at the soccer field in Urbana on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. 

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Aug. 10, 2014


In honor of Illinois football Fan Appreciation Day today — autographs start at 4 p.m. — we asked a few familiar faces to tell us about the first time they hit up a celebrity for their signature.

Illinois soccer ahead of the curve

One practice in and the Illinois soccer team is already ahead of schedule for the 2014 season thanks to the best beep test results in Janet Rayfield’s 12 seasons as head coach.

Richey: Illini soccer storylines

The Illinois soccer team has its first exhibition Aug. 16, when the Illini play at

FINE DINING: All UI athletes benefit from NCAA rule

CHAMPAIGN — The swanky Colonnades Club at Memorial Stadium hosts 1,000-plus Illinois football fans on Saturdays in the fall.

In the offseason, the calendar is crammed with wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and private parties.

Illinois Year in Review: Jannelle Flaws, Top Female Athlete

Best part of my junior year ... definitely going to the Sweet 16 was a great memory. Besides that, spending time with my friends. I have some great friends here.

Illinois Year in Review: Memorable moments

July 2013
Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase marries high school sweetheart Morgan in Kansas City, Mo., and has three Illini teammates serve as groomsmen.

August 2013