Illini Soccer takes down third-ranked Duke in road win

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DURHAM, N.C. – The Fighting Illini soccer squad grabbed its first victory of the season on Sunday, defeating the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils, 2-1, at Koskinen Stadium. Illini freshman Makena Silber netted Illinois’ first goal of the match, and the game-winner was scored off of an Illini corner kick taken by senior Patricia George.

 “It was certainly a huge win for the team and for the program,” head coach Janet Rayfield said. “I’m really proud of the fight that we played with all weekend. I think the difference was that today, we fought on both sides of the ball. We fought to create something when we had it and we fought to stop {Duke} from getting in when they did and that showed in the results. I’m excited for this team to reap the benefits of the work that they have been putting in.”

The Blue Devils struck first on Sunday afternoon, taking a one-goal lead in the 16th minute of the game. Illinois’ responded quickly, however as Silber netted her first-career goal off of a long-range shot in the 18th minute of play. Freshman Katelynn Buescher earned her first career assist in the Orange and Blue on the score as well.

For the second-straight match, the Illini took a lead into halftime as the Orange and Blue held a 2-1 advantage at the break. Illinois’ second goal came in the 45th minute as an Illinois corner kick, taken by senior Patricia George, was deflected into the back of the net.

 

Duke outshot the Illini 4-3 in the first half, but Illinois put all four of its shots on frame before the break. Junior goalkeeper Jaelyn Cunningham grabbed one save in the first half.

Out of the break, the Illini defense stayed tough to hold on to the lead in the match. The Blue Devils fired 11 shots in the second half, but were shut out by the Illinois back line. Cunningham added three more saves in the second half, for a total of four on the match. 

Illinois tallied five shots in the match, led by Silber who tallied two shots on goal. Sophomore Katie Le also fired two shots for the Orange and Blue, and senior Morgan Maroney added another.

 Illinois’ win over No. 3 Duke is the program’s first win over a top-three ranked opponent since beating No. 3 Penn State, 1-0, on November 2, 2012.

 

NEXT UP

The Orange and Blue will travel to Chicago, Illinois to take on the DePaul Blue Demons, Thursday, August 23. First touch is set for 4 p.m. at Wish Field.  The Illini open the home slate on Sunday, August 26, hosting Northern Illinois in a 2 p.m. match. The game will mark Youth Soccer Day, with a post-match youth clinic that is free for all participants. Register in advance to secure your spot. UI will also celebrate its six seniors on Sunday, and will offer free fan clappers to the first 300 fans to arrive.

 

FOLLOW THE ILLINI

Fans can keep up with the Fighting Illini Soccer squad on social media for an even more inside look at the program. Follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Author: Admin