ISU Soccer Continues MVC Play Against UNI
Oct. 9, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State soccer team (8-3-2, 1-1-0) will play its first Missouri Valley Conference game in a week and a half when it welcomes Northern Iowa (6-8-1, 1-1-1) to Adelaide Street Field Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.
After defeating Loyola Chicago 1-0 on Oct. 3, thanks to Aimee Wronski's late game-winner, the Redbirds have won five of their last six matches. The team will look to carry their good form through this crucial upcoming four-game-16-day MVC stretch that begins with Wednesday's match against the Panthers.
"Everybody is rounding in to form at the right time, and I feel like we have the right players in the right places," head coach Drew Roff said. "Now is the time where the good teams and contenders really step up."
The Panthers are coming off of their first conference defeat, a 3-1 loss at the hands of Missouri State. Charlotte Jones led the Panthers offensively by scoring four goals in 10 games before going down with an injury. Since then, sophomore Caitlyn Fuller stepped up to grab the team-lead in goals with three. Defense has been a troublesome area for the Panthers, as they enter the match with the conference's highest goals against average (1.87). However, before the loss to the Bears, UNI had limited opponents to only one goal in its previous three games.
"Northern Iowa is going to come in here and play extremely hard," Roff said. "They will be very organized and have a lot to play for. We need to make sure that we match that intensity. I am expecting a competitive and fun game."
The Redbirds and Panthers have squared off 12 times since the UNI program begin in 2000, with ISU winning 10 of those matches. The Redbirds had a three-match winning streak against the Panthers snapped in 2010 before bouncing back with a 2-0 road win last year.
Sophomore Rachel Tejada enters the match with 11 goals and four assists to total 26 points. The 11 goals rank her 10th nationally, while she is also top-20 in goals per game (13th with 0.846), points (16th with 26) and points per game (14th with 2.0). Tejada also leads the MVC in all of those categories. Wronski has also provided an offensive spark for the Redbirds, registering seven of her eight points in the last seven matches.
Following Wednesday's match, the Redbirds will take on Indiana State at Adelaide Street Field Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. Despite there being one home game remaining after Sunday's match, the six Redbird seniors will be recognized before squaring off with the Sycamores. Additionally, Sunday marks the annual Heidecke Day, as players, coaches and fans will gather after the game to honor former Redbird player Julie Heidecke, who passed away in an automobile accident in 1998.
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