Illini Soccer Set for First Road Trip at No. 17 Butler, Notre Dame

WEEK 2: Illinois (2-0-0) at No. 17 Butler (2-0-0) // at Notre Dame (2-0-0)
Match 3: Butler Thursday, Aug. 25 // 7 pm CT // Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl // Indianapolis, Ind.
Match 4: Notre Dame Sunday, Aug. 28 // 3 pm // Stadium Alumni // South Bend, Ind.
Watch Live Butler ($) // Notre Dame ($)
Live Stats Butler // Notre Dame
Printable Notes Illinois // Notre Dame
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois soccer team heads on the road for the first time during the 2022 season this weekend, traveling to Indianapolis, Ind., to take on its first ranked opponent of the season in No. 17 Butler on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 7 pm CT. The Illini will then face Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 3 pm CT.

The 2022 season marks the 26th season of Illinois soccer, with the Illini holding an overall record of 272-202-39 (.568), and the 21st season under the leadership of head coach Janet Rayfield.

Last Time Out

Illinois is coming off of an undefeated opening weekend as the Illini kicked off the 2022 season with a 1-0 win over Illinois State on Thursday night courtesy of senior Ashley Prell’s game-winning goal in the 84th minute. The Illini then followed that up with a dominating 4-1 victory over Toledo on Senior Day Sunday, with goals from freshman Sarah Foleysenior Kendra Pasqualejunior Makala Woods and sophomore Maddie Mariani. The Illini (2-0-0) also celebrated the careers of seven Illini seniors, including Eileen Murphy, Peyton Willie, Ashley Prell, Aleah Treiterer, Kendra Pasquale, Lilian Lucas and Summer Garrisonin a pre-match ceremony on Sunday.

Scouting Butler

The Illini leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 3-1-0, but dropped a 3-1 decision in the two teams’ previous meeting a season ago in Champaign. The Bulldogs opened the season with a pair of wins, including a 5-0 win over Western Michigan and a 1-0 upset of No. 9 Michigan in Ann Arbor. Butler entered the United Soccer Coaches national poll at No. 17 after last weekend’s action, marking the highest ranking in that poll in program history.

Fifth Year Katie Soderstrom was chosen the 2022 Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. Joining her on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team was senior defender Aliya Diagne.

Notre Dame Scouting

The Illini will face against the Irish for just the fifth time in school history and the first time since 2014 when the Illini fell 3-1 in Champaign. The Irish leads the series, 3-1-0. Notre Dame opened the season with a 2-0 mark, taking wins over Marquette (3-0) and Western Michigan (2-0). The Irish outshot its opening weekend opponents, 52-1.

Notre Dame is projected to finish sixth in the ACC for the second-straight year, with defender Eva Gaetino named to the Mac Hermann Trophy Watch List. Both Olivia Wingate and Maddie Mercado recorded their second career braces in the opening weekend. Wingate notched two goals against Marquette, while Mercado delivered in both the air and ground with two against Western Michigan.

Illini Notes

  • For the fourth-straight season, the Illinois soccer team opened the year with a victory as the Illini posted a 1-0 win over Illinois State in the season opener last Thursday at Demirjian Park.
  • Freshman Sarah Foley had an impressive debut for Illinois as she scored her first collegiate goal just 30 seconds after subbing into Sunday’s 4-1 win over Toledo. She also added an assist later in the match for a total of three points on the day. She tallied six shots, with three on goal in her first collegiate match.
  • The Illini are entering their 26th season of competition, and the 21st under head coach Janet Rayfield.
  • Illinois is coming off a 5-11-1 season, including a 1-8-1 mark in Big Ten action.
  • The Illini are returning 24 letterwinners from last season, while welcoming in nine newcomers to the roster.
  • Pasquale is the leading point getter returning from the 2021 squad with 10 points on four goals and two assists. The redshirt-senior owns 11 goals and five assists in her Illini career.
  • Also returning is sophomore Sydney Stephenswho led the Illini with five assists on the season.
  • The Illini return 10 players with 10+ starts last season (Makena Silber, Kendra Pasquale, Aleah Treiterer, Ashley Cathro, Eileen Murphy, Sydney Stephens, Joanna Verzosa-Dolezal, Maeve Jones, Angie Galo, Mackenzie Schuler).
  • Freshman Lia Howard was named the 2021-22 Gatorade New York Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
  • The Big Ten announced its Women’s Soccer Preseason Players to Watch List on August 15 with redshirt-seniors Ashley Cathro and Kendra Pasquale and seniors Eileen Murphy representing the Illini.
  • Cathro played in all 17 matches and started in 16 for the Illini a season ago, while also leading the team in minutes played (1,502) during the 2021 season.

Next Up

The Illini next return to Demirjian Park to open a five-match homestand, starting with a 7 pm CT contest against Texas A&M on Thursday, Sept. 1, followed by a 7 pm CT match against Indiana State on Sunday, Sept. 4.

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