Illinois soccer gets set to kick off against Saint Louis in final spring exhibition match


Logan Hodson

Sophomore forward Zoey Kollhoff attempts to steal the ball from Grand Valley State on April 2. The Illini will be up against Saint Louis for their final exhibition game on Saturday.

By James Kim, Assistant Sports Editor

Illinois soccer will be playing Saint Louis in its final exhibition match of the spring season on Saturday at Demirjian Park. The Illini have been perfect in their spring matches so far and will be looking to earn their fifth consecutive exhibition victory.

The last time out, Illinois played a doubleheader against both in-state rival Illinois State as well as Big Ten rivals Indiana. The Illini were aggressive in both matches and maintained a high level of intensity despite playing twice in one day. The team earned two dominant victories, with a 3-0 win over Illinois State and a 3-1 win over Indiana.

The Illini have no doubt been happy to see some top performances from its freshmen. Both freshman goalkeeper Naomi Jackson and freshman forward Maeve Jones were on their game two weeks ago. Jackson has been producing some top saves over the course of this preseason and Jones bagged two goals against Indiana in the last match to clinch the honors for Illinois.

However, senior forward Makena Silber suffered an injury in the first half of the match against the Hoosiers and did not return to the game. One of the star players on the team, the extent of Silber’s injury is unknown and it is unclear whether she will make an appearance against Saint Louis. The Illini fans will be hoping the injury wasn’t severe, as the team will be needing their 10th all-time scorer in the fall.

Looking ahead to the 2022 fall season, the Illini will be hoping to improve upon their 2021 record, which saw them go 5-11-1 overall and 1-8-1 in the Big Ten. If the previous match against Indiana was any indicator, then Illinois should be gearing up to improve upon what was a less than impressive season.

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Illinois will be taking on Saint Louis at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Demirjian Park. The Illini will be looking to defeat the Billikens to finish the spring preseason in Champaign 5-0 overall. It’ll be the last chance for the Illini faithful to get their soccer fix in before the team returns to action for the 2022 regular season in the fall.



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