Soccer advances to Round of 16

By Cody Westerlund

In another thrilling finish, the Illinois soccer team stayed alive in the NCAA Tournament by defeating the Missouri Tigers 4-3 in penalty kicks after the score ended 1-1 in two overtimes. With the win, the Illini advance to the Sweet 16 next weekend in Chapel Hill, N.C., to play the No. 1 seeded North Carolina Tar Heels.

Chichi Nweke scored for Illinois early in the second half, but Missouri got the equalizer midway through the half. The Illini hung on in a frantic final five minutes of regulation as the Tigers could not convert on several golden opportunities, including an open goal from about six yards out.

With penalty kicks evened at 3-3, junior midfielder Courtney Bell knocked a shot into the upper left corner of the net for what proved to be the difference. Goalie Alexandra Kapicka, who was brilliant with 11 saves in the game, then saved the final Missouri shot by diving to her left.