The Daily Illini

Freshmen class adapt to college, fall season without competition

The Illinois soccer team stands together in a line during the opening of the Demirjian Park on Sept. 15, 2019. The team’s usual fall season was postponed to spring 2021.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

October 12, 2020

With the graduation of a couple of several key players, including defenders Alicia Barker and Lexi Carrier, goalkeeper Jaelyn Cunningham, midfielder Arianna Veland and forward Kelly Maday, Illinois soccer head coach Janet Rayfield brought in seven freshmen for the 2024 class. The freshmen class inc...

Rayfield’s rich soccer history helps Illinois succeed

Illinois head coach Janet Rayfield shouts directions at her team from the sideline during the game against Indiana at the Illinois Soccer Stadium on Oct. 14, 2018. The Illini won 1-0 in double overtime.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

October 1, 2020

Illinois soccer head coach Janet Rayfield has an extensive history in soccer. She’s been head coach for almost 20 years and has been one of the most successful coaches in program history. However, even before her time at Illinois, she played collegiate soccer in an era where women’s soccer isn't...

NCAA board approves postponement of fall championships to spring

Then seniors Ashlyn Fleming and Jacqueline Quade attempt to block the ball during the game against the Pacific Tigers on Sept. 20, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

September 22, 2020

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved the postponement of fall sports championships to the spring, with the exclusion of football, on Tuesday. The postponement was originally recommended by the NCAA Division I Council last month after several Division 1 conferences halted their fall sports season...

Illinois alum Veland signs first professional contract

Former Illini Arianna Veland passes the ball during the game against Michigan State on Oct. 13. The Illini won the game 2-1.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

September 10, 2020

Former Illinois women’s soccer midfielder Arianna Veland signed her first professional contract with German club FC Würzburger Kickers. Veland played for Illinois from 2016-2019. According to Upper V Athlete Management via Twitter, who represents Veland, on Friday, Sept. 4, she had signed a contract and...

Goalkeepers use season cancellation for growth

Junior goalie Sami Sample (0) stands with her arms around her teammates. The team continues to practice every day despite their season being delayed due to COVID-19.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

September 8, 2020

Recent graduate Jaelyn Cunningham made a huge impact on the soccer team, during her four years at Illinois. Three out of her four years, she was the starting goalkeeper for the team and her outstanding performances led her to be named to the 2018 All-Big Ten Second Team. “Obviously Jaelyn is a stunning goalkeeper...

Demirjian Park set to be finished middle to late November

A graphic renders what Demirjian Park will look like post-construction. The facility will be shared by the Illinois soccer team and the men’s and women’s track and field teams.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

August 31, 2020

After a year of construction, Demirjian Park is set to finish by the middle or end of November. The Illinois soccer team would have started their 2020 season on the new field, but due to COVID-19 and the Big Ten canceling fall sports, there is a potential chance for its debut in the spring of 2021. W...

Illini sports continue practice following postponement of season

Redshirt freshman Isaiah Williams throws the ball during a drill at football practice on Aug. 7.

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

August 25, 2020

Huff Hall, Demirjian Park and Memorial Stadium are going to be empty this fall. The Illini won’t be competing against other Big Ten schools after the conference announced the cancellation of all fall sports Aug. 11. The Pac-12 conference followed suit later that day, and the remaining “Power 5...

Illini soccer make their way back to Champaign

Sophomore Forward Makena Silber passes the ball during the match against Michigan State on Oct. 13, 2019.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

July 15, 2020

Once Illinois moved into Phase 4 of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, Illini sports began coming back to campus. Earlier this week the women’s soccer team started to make their way back to Champaign-Urbana. After discussion with the soccer staff, head coach Janet Rayfield made the...

All-time starting 11 shows off star Illini soccer players

Junior Vanessa DiBernardo fights for control of the ball in a match during the 2012 season.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

June 5, 2020

The Illinois women’s soccer team has been in a slump over the past several seasons, going six years without an NCAA Tournament appearance. However, there are still many talented players to come out of the program. Here is Illinois’s all-time starting 11. Goalkeeper - Leisha Alcia Leisha Alcia is one o...

Team of the century: 2011 Illini soccer deliver most successful season in history

Senior Midfielder Jackie Guerra battles for control of the ball during the match against Colorado on Sept. 7, 2011.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

May 10, 2020

Throughout the 23-year history of the Illinois women’s soccer team, 2011 was the best season that current head coach Janet Rayfield has seen in her 18 years as the head of the team. Rayfield led her team to a Big Ten tournament title and second-round NCAA tournament appearance. The Illini finished the...

Fall sports lose traction throughout season, some exceptions

Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters rolls to the right and looks for an open receiver during Illinois' game at Iowa Saturday. The Hawkeyes beat the Illini 19-10, snapping their four-game win streak. Captured at Kinnick Stadium on 23 Nov. 2019 by Jonathan Bonaguro.

By Meghan Rest, Sports Editor

December 12, 2019

This fall, Illinois experienced memorable victories and tragic losses at nearly every turn. Some Illini teams saw serious growth in the latter part of 2019, while others fell victim to expectation-shattering campaigns. Despite what record books and scoreboards may suggest, the Illini were full of surpr...

Maday earns United Soccer Coaches All-Region distinction

Illinois forward Kelly Maday (15) dribbles the ball during the game against Indiana at the Illinois Soccer Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. The Illini won 1-0 in double overtime.

By Meghan Rest, Sports Editor

December 4, 2019

Illinois senior forward Kelly Maday was named to the United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-North Region, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Monday following USC's release of All-Region teams. Maday's first-ever All-Region nod marks her second accolade of the 2019 season after she...

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