The Daily Illini

Illinois soccer looks to rebound against Gophers

Illinois%27+Kara+Marbury+%2820%29+slides+in+an+attempt+to+retina+possession+during+the+game+against+Arizona+State+at+the+Illinois+track+and+soccer+stadium+on+August%2C+29%2C+2014.+The+Illini+won+3-1.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Illinois soccer looks to rebound against Gophers

Illinois' Kara Marbury (20) slides in an attempt to retina possession during the game against Arizona State at the Illinois track and soccer stadium on August, 29, 2014. The Illini won 3-1.

Illinois' Kara Marbury (20) slides in an attempt to retina possession during the game against Arizona State at the Illinois track and soccer stadium on August, 29, 2014. The Illini won 3-1.

Illinois' Kara Marbury (20) slides in an attempt to retina possession during the game against Arizona State at the Illinois track and soccer stadium on August, 29, 2014. The Illini won 3-1.

Illinois' Kara Marbury (20) slides in an attempt to retina possession during the game against Arizona State at the Illinois track and soccer stadium on August, 29, 2014. The Illini won 3-1.


The Illinois soccer team is looking to bounce back from its 2-0 loss at Northwestern as they prepare to take on Minnesota (6-6-1) at home Sunday. 

The Illini (9-4-0) will relish the opportunity to play at home again after being on the road for the last three games. Illinois lost two of those three matches. The team will play four of its last six matches at home, including the one against the Gophers on Sunday, giving the Illini a chance to play on a grass field after playing on Northwestern’s turf field last weekend. 

“Every game you play, the opponents, the surface, the weather all poses different problems and you can’t call timeout, so players have to solve the problems on the field,” head coach Janet Rayfield said. “That’s one of the fun things about coaching this sport, but it also means that the season is the most educational tool you can have because every game poses a different problem. By the end of it, you hope you’re better problem-solvers.”

Illinois will continue to be without freshman striker Kara Marbury as she continues to recover from a foot injury. Rayfield is confident Marbury will return soon, but is not trying to hurry the striker along. 

“She is coming along, we’ve got her out of the boot, we’ve got her jogging, we’ve got her moving, so hopefully in the next week or so we get her striking balls and doing all that stuff. It’s a progression to see where the bone and where the foot is and how much she can tolerate and we certainly want to take that in small steps; we certainly don’t wanna go from zero to 60,” Rayfield said. 

Both Illinois and Minnesota are in the middle of the Big Ten pack after Illinois’ two-game skid and both will play hard right out of the gate as they make a push for the postseason. 

“I think we’ve put ourselves in position now. If we do the things well that we do well we can put ourselves in position. It’ll be nice getting back at home and nice getting into a routine that we understand and know and I think playing in front of our home fans, it’s certainly a place where we’re going to look to take advantage of our home field advantage and the surface that we’re used to,” Rayfield said.

The Gophers bring a team that will most likely feature three strikers up top, something they have done throughout the season, and something Rayfield expects will pose a challenge. 

“It’s an athletic team; it’s a team that’s going to come and put us under pressure” she said. “They’ll come at us a little bit so we certainly have to be ready for that.”

Eliseo can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment