Confident Flaws embracing leading role

Published 08/06 2014 06:04PM

Updated 08/06 2014 06:39PM

URBANA, Ill. - The Illinois soccer team is receiving votes in the national coaches poll released Wednesday.  The Illini are just outside the Top 25 after winning 11 games and advancing to the Sweet 16 last year.  That national respect is thanks in large part to Jannelle Flaws.  She led the nation with 23 goals last year on her way to being named Big Ten Forward of the Year.  The fifth-year senior is back for one more season, and she is hoping she can somehow top her success from a year ago - even without one of the best players in school history, Vanessa DiBernardo, by her side.

"She's gonna take part of Vanessa's role because she's gonna be someone who dictates the pace of our game - who helps connect us - who helps glue the pieces together," said head coach Janet Rayfield.

In addition to the Big Ten accolades, Flaws was also named Illinois' Dike Eddleman Award winner, which is given to the university's top female athlete.  She has ever reason to be confident as she has turned into one of the nation's top scoring threats.

I think I'm confident in what I do well, and I'm always working to improve what I do well," said Flaws.  "So I can finish and score goals, but I also put the practice in to have the confidence."

Illinois will open the season at home August 22 against No. 16 Notre Dame.

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