Illinois to travel to Mizzou for first regular season game


Photo Courtesy of Craig Pessman/Fighting Illini Athletics

Illinois soccer player Summer Garrison looks to an open teammate to pass the ball to at the B1G Regional Weekend during a game against Iowa April 8. The team will travel to Mizzou to start off their regular season on Thursday,

By Angelle Cortes, Assistant Sports Editor

Preseason is now over, and the real test is upon Illinois soccer. To open the season, Illinois will be on the road for its first two games with Mizzou Thursday and Illinois State Sunday night. 

“Now that preseason is over, I think now we’re looking at trying to develop some consistency and some relationships on the field as we really start to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” said head coach Janet Rayfield. “I think now we’re looking at the cohesion on the field that should start to develop at this point.” 

Looking at Illinois’ exhibition matches, the Illini earned a win against Eastern Illinois and lost a tough battle to Notre Dame. 

Mizzou, hailing from the Southeastern Conference, leads the all-time series against Illinois. The Illini hold a 3-6-2 record and 2-5-2 under the Rayfield era. The last time the two teams met was August 2017 in Champaign, where Illinois lost 3-1. 

Looking at the Tigers, last season they finished 6-5-3 and 3-2-2 in conference play, finishing third in the SEC East standings. They also made it to the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament, but were knocked out by then-No. 10 South Carolina. 

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

The SEC released the preseason coaches poll on Wednesday morning and predicted Mizzou to finish 12th this season. 

A player to look out for Mizzou is senior forward Julissa Cisneros, who was named to the All-SEC Second Team in 2020. She ended her junior campaign tallying 47 shots, including 19 on target, and scored four goals.

On Monday afternoon, the Big Ten announced its preseason poll, pegging Illinois to finish ninth in the table. Hope Breslin, Makena Silber and Kendra Pasquale were named to the player to watch list. 

Mizzou being another Power Five opponent and Illinois being the underdogs in this matchup, it will be another test for Rayfield and her team to learn, show off what they have been working on, and work out the kinks within the team. 

“We’re going into these to play our best,” Rayfield said. “You can expect us to go after it. You can expect us to really try to be aggressive in attacking half of the field. I think you can expect us to try and send some numbers forward and be creative in the final third.

“We’re also looking at our defense to make some improvements from the Notre Dame game in the second half and be more disciplined and more organized defensively.” 

The match will be at Audrey J. Walton Soccer Stadium in Columbia, Missouri. Kick off will be at 7 p.m. and will be live streamed on SEC Network Plus, and live stats will be available here



[email protected]