Illini meet match against Butler


Daily Illini File Photo

Seniors Carolina Ratz (8) and Hope Breslin (10) high-five to celebrate a goal against Northern Illinois on Aug. 26. The Illini won 8-0.

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

Illinois soccer is coming off a 3-2 road win against Illinois State Sunday. Illinois is 4-1 for the season so far, with its only loss coming against the San Francisco Dons.

Their next opponent, Butler, is 4-2 on the season, with its only losses coming against Milwaukee and No. 22 Wisconsin.

Illinois has played Butler twice in program history, winning both times, but hasn’t played Butler since October 2003. This will be the Illini’s first time playing Butler in Indianapolis.

Illinois has fewer goals and shots on the season compared to Butler. Illinois has 12 goals in 59 attempts, while Butler has 15 goals in 92 attempts.

Illinois also tends to give up more goals than Butler. The Illini allow opponents an average of two goals per game, while Butler gives up 1.17.

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Defensively, Illinois has tried new formations. Against the Redbirds, the Illini switched from four in the back to three in the back. Head coach Janet Rayfield said following the Illinois State game the team will continue to work on improving the defense.

Illinois tends to score more in the second half, with seven second-half goals this season. It’s scored five in the first half, however, opponents have scored five goals in each half.

Butler is more successful in the first half, where they recorded nine goals so far and have given up six total. Opponents have scored twice and four times in the first and second half, respectively.

The two teams also haven’t played any of the same opponents in the regular season, so far, either. Although Illinois is scheduled to take on Wisconsin October 24 in Champaign. The Bulldogs played an exhibition against the Redbirds August 14; the final score was 0-0.

 The two teams will face off at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Sellick Bowl.


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