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 suffers 2nd straight defeat following Braggin’ Rights loss to Missouri

The Daily Illini Photo File
The Illini and Mizzou fights for the ball on Sept. 9, 2022. Despite pressure pressed by the Illini at the end of Thursday’s match against Missouri, the Illini were unsuccessful on securing the win.

The Illini closed out their five-game road trip on Thursday night against the Missouri Tigers but were on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline at the full-time whistle. The defeat marks Illinois’ second straight loss after starting the season four games unbeaten.

The match got off to a quick start in Columbia, with the Tigers not holding back against head coach Janet Rayfield’s squad, who beat them the year prior. It was all Missouri to start the contest as senior goalkeeper Julia Cili had to make three stops in the first 15 minutes of play. However, the Tigers managed to sneak one past the Palmetto Bay native in the 14th minute.

A free kick launched into the Illini box was met by Tigers forward Jenna Bartels, who got a foot to the ball before Cili to tip it over the senior and open the scoring. Illinois 0, Missouri 1.

It went from bad to worse for the visitors as the Tigers doubled their lead in the 25th minute. A Missouri attack forced a great stop out of Cili, but Illinois’ backline was unable to get to the rebound. Junior defender Ella Karolak got in front of the initial shot, but Tigers forward Kylee Simmons got to the ball, dribbled into space and fired home the second goal of the match. Illinois 0, Missouri 2.

The Illini headed into halftime down by two but reemerged hungry to get on the scoreboard. They were rewarded in the 57th minute as senior forward Makala Woods was taken down in Missouri’s box, earning a penalty for Illinois. Senior midfielder Kennedy Berschel stepped up for the visitors and sent the Tigers goalkeeper the wrong way, cutting the deficit to one. Illinois 1, Missouri 2.

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    The Illini upped the pressure to close out the match, pressing high and creating chances. Junior forward Abby Lynch nearly found the visitor’s equalizer seven minutes later after being played through on goal, but had her shot saved at the last second.

    The late pressure kept Missouri on its toes.  In the dying moments of the match, freshman defender Mya Archibald had an 87th minute header fly just wide of the post. However, while the Illini had the Tigers on the ropes, there was no equalizer written in the stars for Rayfield’s squad. Final score: Illinois 1, Missouri 2.

    The Illini began the season with three wins and a draw in their first four games, but have stumbled recently after two straight defeats. However, Illinois will be back at home on Sunday with the chance to rebound against a 2-0-5 Pepperdine team. With the 2023 season still in the early stages, there’s no reason for Rayfield’s squad to hit the panic button as a return to the fans in Champaign could be just what the Illini need to turn it around.



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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!