Goalkeeper garners Big Ten award


Adam Babcock

Illinois goalkeeper Lindesy Carstens scoops up the ball during the game at Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium on Saturday. Erica Magda

By Steve Contorno

Illinois goalkeeper Lindsey Carstens came two shutouts closer to the Illinois career record this weekend, and in doing so earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

The junior from West Chester, Ohio, was a critical element in a much needed solid effort from the Illini defense in two games this past weekend. The Illinois soccer team defeated Minnesota 1-0 on Friday and Iowa 6-0 on Sunday. In each game, Carstens had a pair of saves and directed a defense that had given up four goals the previous weekend.

Head coach Janet Rayfield has praised the play of Carstens all season.

“It’s easier to defend when you know you have someone in the back behind you that can help you keep the ball out of the net,” Rayfield said after Friday’s victory. “She doesn’t even get credit for a couple of the crosses that she gets a hand on to stop some dangerous corners.”

Carstens may not have been credited with a save for those plays, but the Big Ten awarded her with player of the week honors. It is the third time this season an Illinois player has been given a Big Ten mention. Senior forward Ella Masar was named offensive player of the week after the opening weekend and junior defender Emily Zurrer was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following Illinois’ victory over then-No. 9 Florida.

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On the season, Carstens is allowing just more than a goal a game and has tallied 32 saves. Her 22 career shutouts is second all time, trailing only former Illini and current assistant coach Leisha Alcia.