Soccer goes winless

By Sultan Abdul-Ahad

The Illini return from the Milwaukee Cup with a loss and a draw after losing 1-0 on Friday to Marquette and playing Wisconsin-Milwaukee to a scoreless tie on Sunday.

“This weekend was a learning experience,” said senior Kelly Campbell. “We have some things to work on at practice.”

One subplot to this season was the goalkeeping battle between sophomore Lindsey Carstens, senior Rachel Frank and freshman Danielle Wagner to replace All-American Leisha Alcia. Carstens came out of the weekend the winner.

“She (Carstens) was the most consistent with the ball at her feet,” said Illini head coach Janet Rayfield. “We could pass the ball back to her. And also her shot stopping and verbal communication.”

Carstens was beat on the first shot she faced as Marquette’s Christy Zwolsky beat her with a shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 25th minute. Carstens would go on to finish the game making five saves, keeping the Illini in the game.

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“We lost the ball in midfield and they were able to play the ball behind our right back,” Rayfield said. “She (Zwolsky) was able to put the ball over Carstens’ head as she was retreating back to her line.”

The Illini were able to get three of its eight shots on target, but Golden Eagles goalie Laura Boyer was there to stifle them. The one time the Illini were able to get the ball in the back of the net, the goal was disallowed as sophomore midfielder Kristy Weeks was offsides.

“From my viewpoint, she probably was offside and I think looking at the tape she was offside as well,” Rayfield said.

On Sunday, the Illini were not able to score in 110 minutes of play and had to settle for a scoreless tie.

“We played similar both games, but today we battled a little harder and created more chances,” Rayfield said.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee was unable to score in the game as their freshman forward Jodi Klagos hit the post in the 50th and 67th minute.

“That is the way that the game works and luck is a part of our game,” Rayfield said.

The Illini did not score in 200 minutes of soccer this weekend, and Rayfield knows they cannot do this all year.

“We can’t play 200 minutes of soccer, not score and expect to win games this year,” Rayfield said.

Despite coming out of this weekend without a win, junior forward Eva Strickland did find some positives the team can take away.

“We played hard and well,” Strickland said. “We had some opportunities we did not finish. We had good stints this weekend and have good pieces to puzzle so right now we just have to connect them.”