Illinois shut out in loss to Northwestern

The Illinois soccer team fell to the Northwestern 2-0 Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Illinois.

The Wildcats opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a strike by sophomore Addie Steiner, and it was Steiner who capped off the game with an 87th minute strike to hand Illinois its third conference loss of the season. 

Steiner scored two stellar goals for Northwestern from 20 and 40 yards out, respectively, outwitting Illinois goalkeeper Claire Wheatley with two looping shots from distance. Wheatley had four saves from 12 Northwestern shots while the Illini were unable to put one of their 17 shots past Wildcat keeper Lauren Clem, who made six saves. 

“Northwestern came in here and kept us from doing what we like to do,” head coach Janet Rayfield said. “They took us out of our rhythm with their defensive scheme and effort. We gave up the early goal and were chasing the rest of the game. They marked Jannelle and didn’t let us do what we wanted to do, which was the difference in the game.”

The Wildcats, who were previously win-less in the conference, improved to 5-6-2. Illinois was handed its second consecutive conference loss and now stands at 4-3-0 in the Big Ten. 

It’s Illinois’ second 2-0 shutout loss this season and the Wildcats are just the third opponent to score first against the Illini this year. 

It was also only the second time the Illini have trailed at halftime. It was a scrappy game that saw three yellow cards handed out at the Wildcat’s Lakeside Field and there were a total of 22 fouls the entire game. 

Jannelle Flaws, who led the team with six shots, saw her streak of five games with at least one goal come to an end, while Northwestern’s five game conference losing streak also ended against the Illini. 

Eliseo can be reached at [email protected].