TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It's barely been six months since Eric Bell left the University of Illinois, and already it's reunion time.
Today, the first-year Florida State assistant will coach against his former employer when the Illini come to town for an NCAA Sweet 16 women's soccer match that starts at noon (CST).
ST. LOUIS – Reaching the Sweet 16 is nothing new for Janet Rayfield's Illinois soccer program.
The dominating way in which the Illini advanced Sunday, however, was a pleasant surprise.
ST. LOUIS – Illinois coach Janet Rayfield's women's soccer team didn't have much of a spark early, but the squad scored twice after a lightning delay to defeat Southeast Missouri State 2-0 on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
"SEMO proved that they deserved to be in this tournament," Rayfield said. "They played a great game. Tonight, there were some individual efforts on our part – and after the delay, more of a collective effort defensively. We're happy to be moving on after playing a very solid Southeast Missouri team."
CHAMPAIGN – Janet Rayfield can't be sure how many more times she'll have Jessica Bayne in her lineup.
The Illinois women's soccer coach is sure Bayne will be sorely missed whenever the senior's final match ends.
CHAMPAIGN – Before Monday's unveiling of the NCAA women's soccer tournament field, Illinois was assured of two things:
– The Big Ten tournament runner-ups were NCAA-bound for the fourth straight year;
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The sting from Sunday's loss to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament title match shouldn't last long for Illinois' soccer team.
Not with the NCAA tournament pairings due out this afternoon.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ý The Illinois soccer team has beaten Penn State once this season. If the Illini do it again, they'll have a trophy to show for it.
Top-seeded Penn State and second-seeded Illinois meet at 12:30 today for the Big Ten tournament title. The Nittany Lions' only league loss came against Illinois, 3-2, on Oct. 1.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Get ready for the rematch: Penn State against Illinois.
The second-seeded Illini defeated third-seeded Purdue 1-0 on Friday to earn a spot in Sunday's Big Ten tournament final against the top-seeded Nittany Lions.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Eva Strickland made sure Illinois' streak in the Big Ten women's soccer tournament stayed alive.
Strickland scored the game-winning goal and had an assist as the 17th-ranked Illini defeated Wisconsin 3-0 on Thursday in the first round.
CHAMPAIGN – Illinois volleyball coach Don Hardin is getting tired of moral victories.
Hardin's team, which has battled through recent injuries, lost 30-25, 25-30, 30-26, 30-27 to Northwestern on Wednesday night.