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Illini soccer blanked by Minnesota
ST PAUL, Minn. - Illinois stumbled in their first road trip pit stop, dropping a 3-0 game to Minnesota. The Gophers netted a goal in the first half and two in the second period to claim victory in tonight's game. Illinois moves to 7-5-2 overall and 4-2-1 in Big Ten play while the Gophers jump to 8-6-1 and 3-3-1 in conference competition.
Illinois created some goal-scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the contest. Defender Kassidy Brown was the first to test Minnesota goalkeeper Cat Parkhill when she placed a shot on goal in the seventh-minute. In addition, Vanessa DiBernardo recorded her first shot of the game in the 14th-minute.
Minnesota standout Taylor Uhl, who leads all women in the Big Ten in goals and points, got the Gophers on the board with her 14th goal of the season in the 27th-minute. Uhl was able to dribble through the Illini defense and create enough space to release a shot that found the lower left corner of the goal.
DiBernardo's second shot of the game nearly tied it in the 30th-minute but her strike hit the crossbar and the Gopher defense was able to clear and remove the threat.
Illinois started the second half strong when DiBernardo tallied two shots in the first 90 seconds, forcing Parkhill to record her second save of the match. The Illini then proceeded to take three corner kicks in the following three minutes, as Kassidy Brown recorded her second shot of the game but could not find the equalizer.
However, Minnesota would capitalize on their opportunities as Uhl was once again involved on a Gopher goal. Tamara Strahota netted the second strike off of a sharp angle off the end-line in which the ball ricocheted off the far post and in.
Taylor Uhl then earned her fifth point of the match when she extended the Minnesota lead to three in the 74th-minute. After the sophomore released a shot that deflected off of Panozzo, she collected the rebound and put it into the back of the net.
Minnesota finished the night with 13 shots and eight on goal compared to the Illini's 8 shots with three on goal. Furthermore, the Gophers enjoyed a 5-3 corner kick advantage. Also, Steph Panozzo ended the game with five total saves and DiBernardo led the team in shots with five.
Finally, the Illini suffered their first night game loss on the year, now 5-1-0, and move to 2-3-2 on the road this season.