The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illinois soccer searches for third win of season against winless Louisville

Julia+Cili+runs+between+her+team+on+Sept.+4%2C+2022+as+the+Illini+prepares+to+face+off+against+Indiana.%0AThe+Illini+will+be+facing+off+against+Louisville+on+Thursday.
The Daily Illini Photo File
Julia Cili runs between her team on Sept. 4, 2022 as the Illini prepares to face off against Indiana. The Illini will be facing off against Louisville on Thursday.

Following a scoreless draw in its last outing, Illinois soccer continues its road trip with a visit to Louisville on Thursday. In their opening three games, the Illini are unbeaten with a 2-0-1 record.

It’ll be a prime chance for the team to earn their third victory of the year, with the Cardinals winless to start the season. Louisville fell twice to start the season and also battled out a scoreless draw in its latest bout.

“I think it’s a team that’s trying to figure some things out,” head coach Janet Rayfield said, “And we’ve got to be ready for that. We’ve got to be ready for them to come out at home and really try to put some of the pieces of the puzzle together.”

Despite being only two weeks into the season, there are already two shared opponents between the two sides. Both Illinois and Louisville have faced the likes of Xavier and Dayton, with the former faring much better in these matches. The Illini pulled out a win against the No. 17 Musketeers and drew against the Flyers, while the Cardinals lost out against both.

While the Illini will be looking for the opportunity to pick up a third win on the season, Thursday night will also hold a big opportunity for the Cardinals. Historically, Illinois and Louisville have come up against one another on six occasions, with the Illini sweeping the series. It’s been nine years since the two sides took the pitch together and Louisville has the chance to earn a first historic win over Rayfield’s squad.

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    For the Illini, goals haven’t been rolling in in abundance but the squad has been able to find enough of them to claim wins. Most recently in the scoreless draw against Dayton, however, the scoring dried up.

    “At this time of the year we’re still really focused on ourselves,” Rayfield said. “There are still some pieces of the puzzle that we’ve got to get better at. We created a lot of chances (against Dayton). We’ve just gotta figure out a way to put the ball in the back of the net, as well as getting better the next time we step out on the field.”

    Illinois will kick off against Louisville at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday night. As the Illini hunt for their third win on the year and a historic first win on the line for the Cardinals, Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium is set for a bout of fireworks as the two teams take the pitch.

     

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    About the Contributor
    James Kim, Sports Editor
    My name is James Kim and I’m a senior studying English with a minor in business. This is my third year with The Daily Illini and it’s been an amazing ride so far. When I joined in fall 2021, I began as a staff writer for the sports section where I covered women’s tennis. In spring 2022, I became an assistant sports editor and started covering soccer and Illinois men’s basketball. From spring 2023 onwards I’ve been working as the sports editor! In addition to being an Illini and Real Madrid fanatic, I also love watching movies and TV shows. If you have any questions about writing for The DI, you can reach me at my email below. I-L-L!
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