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 3rd straight victory with trip to Dayton

Illinois+soccer+huddles+on+the+field+during+a+game+against+Missouri+on+Sept.+9.
The Daily Illini Photo File
Illinois soccer huddles on the field during a game against Missouri on Sept. 9.

The Illini are off to a hot start in 2023, with important wins against Loyola and No. 17 Xavier accounting for their 2-0 record. Sunday will see the team travel to Ohio for a chance to extend their win streak to three.

It’s all much easier said than done however, as Illinois will be coming up against a Dayton squad that means business. The Flyers have also enjoyed a strong start to the season with a 3-0 record under their belts. Loyola Maryland, Cincinnati and Louisville have all fallen victim to Dayton so far, and Illinois’ defense will need to be on its game if the Illini want to avoid being the Flyers’ fourth straight triumph.

Dayton’s attack has been lethal, scoring 10 goals in its opening three games. However, Illinois’ backline held off No. 17 Xavier on Thursday night for its first shutout of the season. Senior goalkeeper Julia Cili was a force to be reckoned with against the Musketeers, recording five saves for the Illini. Her services will be essential to securing a positive result from Baujan Field.

On the other end of the pitch, Illinois has been finding the important, match-winning goals. In the narrow 3-2 season-opening win over Loyola, graduate student Makena Silber, junior forward Maeve Jones and freshman defender Mya Archibald all found the back of the net. Silber in particular is a key returning player for the Illini. Entering her fourth active season with the program, the Crystal Lake native has had a successful career with Illinois. As a veteran on the team with 20 career goals, Silber’s absence during the entirety of last season due to injury came as a major blow for the squad. However, the Illini will once again be able to make use of her firepower in front of goal.

Sunday will mark the third time Illinois have taken the pitch against Dayton. Historically, the Illini have come out on top in tight contests against the Flyers. The two teams first met back in 2008, where Illinois earned a 1-0 overtime victory in Champaign. Eleven years passed before the next matchup where in 2019, the Illini would once again triumph over the Flyers after a 3-2 win at Demirjian Park. Illinois will be traveling to Dayton for the first time in the series’ short history.

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    With both sides entering the game with momentum, fans can expect an entertaining bout when the kickoff whistle is blown on Sunday. The contest between Illinois and Dayton will begin at noon CT as the teams battle to keep their winning streaks alive.

     

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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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