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 results will come if we just keep digging our heels in,’: Illinois prepares to host Indiana in first home Big Ten clash

The Daily Illini Photo File
The Illini put their hands together on Sept. 9, 2022 during a match against Mizzou. The Illini seek to build up there performance as the season continues with their upcoming match against Indiana on Thursday.

It’s Big Ten time in Champaign for the Illini, who will continue its conference campaign on Thursday night with a matchup against the Hoosiers. Illinois opened Big Ten play with a point on the road against Iowa on Sunday and will be looking to build momentum against a strong Indiana side.

A lone goal from graduate student forward Makena Silber was enough to earn a draw against the undefeated Hawkeyes in the Illini’s last outing. With her goal on Sunday, the veteran moved up to eighth in Illinois’ all-time scoring list, tied with Colleen Joyce. After missing the entirety of the 2022 season due to injury, Silber will serve as an important piece of the Illini attack in conference play. The Crystal Lake native has scored 21 career goals and counting.

“We’re all super excited to get off on another foot this season,” Silber said heading into conference play. “We’re looking to bounce back from some things in conference the past two years and I think we have a great group. There’s just something different and special about this group.”

While it’s true that the Illini have struggled to compete for the Big Ten title in recent seasons, there is reason to believe in the current squad. Illinois began the year with three wins and a draw in its opening four matches, its best start to a season since 2015. Currently sitting with a 4-2-2 record after eight games, things have slowed down for the squad but a fresh start to conference play has arrived.

Like against Iowa, Illinois will be squaring off against another undefeated Big Ten foe. Indiana currently holds an impressive 7-0-2 overall record, with its most recent result being a 3-2 conference victory over Rutgers.

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    Historically, the Illini are ahead in the head-to-head matchup against the Hoosiers, with 14 wins to the latter’s eight. However, Indiana was victorious the last time the two programs clashed back in 2021 after a tightly fought game that saw the Hoosiers earn a narrow 2-1 win in Bloomington.

    It won’t be easy, but Illinois has the squad to pull off a memorable result against its Big Ten neighbors. The Illini faithful will have the chance to witness the team’s first conference game of 2023 in what is an exciting matchup between two strong programs. Both teams will take the pitch on Thursday night for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Demirjian Park.

    “I think we’re all just super excited to show up,” Silber said, “Take it day-by-day and focus on the process of it. The results will come if we just keep digging our heels in.”



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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!