Illinois soccer falls to Nebraska 3-1

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Sydney Laput

Forward Makena Silber charges toward the ball during the game against Wisconsin Oct. 8. The Illini fell to Nebraska 3-1 Thursday night.

By Angelle Cortes, Assistant Sports Editor

The first cold soccer game at Demirjian Park ended with Nebraska taking the victory 3-1 Thursday night. 

From kick off to the final whistle, the Huskers were leading the whole match. 

Not even one minute into the match, Nebraska took the lead. 

Off a set piece, the ball drifted on the ground and a Husker did a dummy, letting the ball go through her legs. The move allowed Gwen Lane to run at goal and capitalize right outside the six yard box past Julia Cili. 

From then on, Illinois just fell apart and couldn’t generate a strong attack. 

“I think that just really put a crack in our belief that we couldn’t seal up again,” said head coach Janet Rayfield when talking about the first goal. 

The Huskers were relentless on the attack, and the Illini defense just couldn’t lock down their attack. It was shot after shot from the Huskers and failed clear after clear from the Illini. 

By the time Illinois scored, Nebraska already had six shots and three on goal. 

In the 17th minute, the Illini finally got the response. The ball bounced off Maeve Jones’ leg, but miscommunication between the Husker keeper and defenders allowed Jones to capitalize on the mistake. 

Jones went one on one with Makenzie Short as she was way out of her box. The forward dribbled past with ease and finished at an open net. 

“As soon as the ball went over the backline and the backline wasn’t dropping immediately, I just knew I had to run full speed and try to be keeper to the ball because she wasn’t really stepping either,” Jones said. “I just knew I had to beat the keeper and finish the ball.” 

But Illinois couldn’t hold the tie and gave up the lead again seven minutes later. 

A Husker shot took an unlucky bounce off Ashley Cathro and fell right into the path of Reagan Raabe. She put it one time into the net past Cili who was out of position. 

Once again, Rayfield made a halftime switch with the goalkeepers putting Naomi Jackson into the net. 

Second half kicked off and Illinois was able to get shots off, but still struggled to finish. 

Rayfield brought in many substitutions in hopes for one of them to be the impact player. Makala Woods who saw her first minutes of the season came in and looked to be that player with her pace. 

Unfortunately, she couldn’t find her way to goal, but still gave her all to impact in the limited minutes on the field plus she knocked down the Husker keeper and earned a yellow card. 

In the 56th minute, Nebraska put another ball in the net off a corner. 

The initial header from Raabe was saved, but fell right in the path of Sarah Weber, and she buried it into yet another open net. 

Illinois failed to respond and the score stayed at 3-1. Coming up next will be their last match of the season against No. 9 Rutgers. 

 

@AngelleCortes

 

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