August 19, 2012
Illini, Illinois State tie 1-1
NORMAL, Ill. -In state rivals Illinois and Illinois State played to a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon.
Illinois State got on the scoreboard first. In the 24th minute, Rachel Tejada was tripped from behind in the Illinois box and was awarded a penalty kick. Illini goalkeeper Steph Panozzo could not come up with the save as she dove to her left, as Tejada scored by placing the ball in the right side of the net. Tejada's tally was her third goal in two games.
Illinois did not let the goal faze them, responding with a goal of their own just five minutes later. Niki Read, who led the team with seven assists in 2011, recorded her first on the year when she sent a beautiful cross from deep in the corner. Nicole Breece settled and delivered her first collegiate goal to tie the game at one.
In the opening minutes, the Orange and Blue kept Redbirds goalkeeper Aryn Newsom busy and had several close calls. Newsom had to fully extend to make the save on Kristen Gierman's first shot, then minutes later, the senior captain placed a header on goal, only to be saved by Newsom again. At the 17 minute mark, Nicole Denenberg found Marissa Holden who struck a left foot shot just over the crossbar.
The Orange and Blue continued the offensive pressure, nearly taking the lead before halftime. On a cross from Breece, Megan Pawloski recorded a shot on goal, with Newsom making yet another diving save.
Last year, the Fighting Illini were 4-0-2 in overtime games but could not find the winning result today. After the first overtime netted no result, Redbird Rachel Tejada threatened early in the second. The sophomore finally broke through the Illini defense, but Panozzo did a great job taking the angle away as she made the save.
Illinois then responded by threatening to end the game as well with some near misses by Read and Brown whose shots went just high and wide left respectively. Finally, in the closing minutes, Marissa Holden dribbled past a couple of Redbird defenders near the top of the Illlinois State box and struck a shot on goal. Newsom bobbled the save and Holden nearly beat the keeper to the rebound.