Rayfield gets win No. 50

By Sultan Abdul-Ahad

Illini soccer coach Janet Rayfield recorded her 50th win as Illini head coach on Friday night as the Illini defeated Indiana 1-0 in Bloomington on an 87th minute goal by senior defender Kelly Campbell.

“Every Big Ten win feels good, and this is just a tribute to the players and the program to get 50 wins in four years,” Rayfield said.

The game was not played in the best of conditions as both schools had to deal with a mist throughout the game.

“It affected the ability of both teams to play soccer,” Rayfield said.

The mist did not seem to give the Illini defense any trouble, as they did not allow the Hoosiers a shot on goal in the whole game.

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With the defense doing its job, the Illini offense had to come through, but with the conditions being the way they were, it would be difficult.

The game turned in the 87th minute when sophomore forward Ella Masar was brought down 35 yards away from the goal. Campbell took advantage of the wet conditions by taking a low free kick which skidded under Hoosiers goalie Lauren Fabbro and into the back of the net. The goal was Campbell’s first of the season and only her second in her career.

Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Carstens recorded her sixth shutout of the season heading into an important game with Purdue on Sunday afternoon.

“Lindsey made some good decisions as whether she should come and get the ball and when she should stay on her line,” Rayfield said.

Purdue’s tactic to use the counterattack worked wonders for them as they defeated the Illini 3-1 for the first time since 1999 in West Lafayette.

Purdue scored the game’s first two goals inside 20 minutes. On the first goal Carstens came out to catch a cross but was not able to get to it as forward Lauren Sesselmann headed the ball into the net.

Then in the 20th minute, forward Jessica Okoroafo scored with her head as the Boilermakers built up a two-goal advantage heading into halftime.

The second half got worse for the Illini as they found themselves down 3-0 in the 54th when Sesselmann scored her second of the game.

While this occurred, the Illini were outshooting Purdue 24-15 including 14-5 in the second half.

“This is the most dangerous we have been all year, but credit to Purdue, they finished their opportunities,” Rayfield said.

The Illini were able to grab a consolation goal in the 82nd minute when junior forward Jessica Bayne scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season.

That would be all for the scoring, as the Illini dropped to 10-5-3 overall and 5-2-1 in the Big Ten, which puts them in fifth place. Purdue stayed in second place behind Big Ten Champion Penn State with an 11-6 overall record, and 7-2 in the Big Ten.

“We could finish anywhere from third to fifth, so I’m not really concerned because the conference has been so tight and competitive,” Rayfield said. “I can’t even tell you who I want to play.”