Illinois falls to Notre Dame 4-0, looks ahead to match against Mizzou


Photo Courtesy of Craig Pessman/Fighting Illini Athletics

Members of the Illinois soccer team line up with their hands behind their backs during the game against Iowa during the B1G Regional Weekend April 8. Illinois fell to Notre Dame today 0-4 at Demirjian Park.

By Angelle Cortes, Assistant Sports Editor

In a near packed Demirjian Park full of family, fans and buckets of popcorn, Illinois fell to Notre Dame by four goals. 

“We learned a little bit about what a game looks like,” head coach Janet Rayfield said. “It’s been a while since we played with that kind of intensity and so you know really positive things to take from the first half and really great lessons to take from the second half and that’s what you really want from a preseason game.”  

A solid first half from Illinois had them matching the intensity to the Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Notre Dame. Several chances for the Illini nearly led to the first goal of the game including a header from Hope Breslin, through balls onto goal for Makena Silber and Kendra Pasquale and a shot outside the box from Eileen Murphy. 

The Fighting Irish also saw their chances on goal as they pounced on mistakes from the Illini backline, but Julia Cili was able to put her eyes on the ball to save them. 

When it came to the second half, Illinois were playing nearly the opposite they were in the second half.

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    “Really excited about the first half, I thought we came out and did some of the things we wanted to do,” Rayfield said. “Our rhythm, we couldn’t sustain that through the second half. We made some changes and tried to get to see a lot of different people and really didn’t maintain the intensity and energy and rhythm that we wanted.” 

    Five minutes into the second half and Notre Dame were on the scoreboard. A cross on the ground into the box knocked off the feet of Angie Galo right into the back net. 

    In the 70th minute Joanna Verzosa-Dolezal tried to block another low cross and slipped right between her legs to fall into Eva Gaetino’s feet to get the second goal of the match. 

    Some quick substitutions from Illinois tried to get them some firepower on the field to hopefully break the clean sheet. Zoey Kollhoff had two shots and one on goal during her 11 minutes on the field, but unfortunately couldn’t get it into goal. 

    The 79th and 89th minute saw Notre Dame finish the game off and get the away win 4-0. 

    With preseason over and many lessons learned from the game, Rayfield and the Illini will look ahead to their first match of the regular season on the road against Mizzou on Aug. 19. 

    “You want to see the work you put in and have it pay off and I think we did that in the first half and you want to see what work you still have to do and that happened in the second half.” 



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