NCAA Women

Illini Fall in Heartbreaker to No. 12 Wisconsin


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Fighting Illini soccer fell to No. 12 Wisconsin, 1-0, on Thursday night at Demirjian Park.

The Orange and Blue now move to 5-6-3 on the season and 1-4-2 in Big Ten play.

It was a defensive battle during the first half, with neither side able to carve out any clear-cut chances. Illinois goalkeeper Julia Cili was not called upon until the 27th minute, making a comfortable save on a shot from distance, and followed it up with two excellent saves in the 34th and 42nd minutes to help send the contest into halftime scoreless.

The Illini began to ramp up the pressure in the attacking third in the 63rd, winning four corner kicks in under 10 minutes. Mya Archibald had a half a chance during a scramble for a loose ball off of one of those corners, but she pulled her shot wide of the net.

Ellen Persson came the closest to scoring for Illinois in the 68th minute, when she rose highest to meet Bel Rolley’s corner, but her looping header could only find the post.

Rolley again would provide great service in the 81st minute, picking out Sydney Stephens making a near-post run on a counter attack, but her headed effort was blocked away. 

The match seemed destined to end in a draw as the final seconds began to tick away, but the Badgers made one last…

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