Illini finish weekend undefeated

By Sultan Abdul-Ahad

The Illini defeated Michigan 3-2 on Friday night and came back Sunday afternoon and had a scoreless draw with Michigan State.

The Illini got off to an early start again as senior forward Eva Strickland headed the Illini in front in the third minute when she converted a cross from the right side from sophomore midfielder Kristy Weeks.

The Illini were on the back foot from that point on in the first half and Michigan got its reward in the most unique of fashions.

Michigan had a corner kick from the left and midfielder Danielle Underwood managed to put the ball over sophomore goalie Lindsey Carstens head and into the net to tie the game at one.

“After we got the first goal we became lackadaisical,” said junior forward Jessica Bayne.

The Wolverines then took the lead in the 29th minute as forward Melissa Dobbyn unleashed a shot from 18 yards out that Carstens had no chance of getting to.

Michigan almost increased its lead to 3-1 two minutes before halftime when midfielder Judy Coffman beat Carstens with a shot near post, only for the shot to hit the goalpost and keep the Illini within a goal.

Four minutes after halftime, the Illini grabbed an equalizer when senior forward Natasha Karniski headed in a flick on from freshman defender Emily Zurrer off of a corner kick.

Forty-one seconds later the Illini regained the lead when junior forward Jessica Bayne scored her fifth goal of the season when she chipped Wolverines goalie Megan Tuura from 23 yards out from a clearance out of the Michigan penalty area.

“It was a great confidence booster for us,” Bayne said.

The Illini managed to hold off the Wolverines and snap its two-game losing streak.

“We probably had the best week of practice and it carried over to this game tonight,” said Illini head coach Janet Rayfield.

The Illini came back Sunday and battled Michigan State to a scoreless draw.

The Illini were not able to play its usual possession game and therefore were not able to get as many chances.

“Our passes and movements were not as sharp as they need to be,” Rayfield said.

The Illini came close to breaking the deadlock in the first half, but senior left back Christen Karniski put her free kick under the jumping wall, but wide of the right side post.

Sophomore forward Ella Masar almost had a goal in the 70th minute pushing a first time shot past the left side post after getting a cross from senior forward Eva Strickland.

The Illini’s last good chance came in the 105th minute when Bayne managed to elude Spartan defenders at the top of the 18 yard box and shot, but it went just wide of the post.

“This was a typical Big Ten game on a Sunday afternoon,” Rayfield said. “We defended well and they defended well and we just weren’t as sharp as we need to be.”