DiBernardo planning grand finale

Published 08/07 2013 07:36PM

Updated 08/07 2013 10:52PM

URBANA -- If you get a chance to watch the Illinois soccer team this year, you will see one of the best players in the country and one of the best to ever play at Illinois.  Vanessa DiBernardo is starting her senior year in Orange and Blue, and she is ready for another big year.

DiBernardo is a three-time All-Big Ten selection and a two-time All-American.  She has already competed on the international level as well, and the best part is - after all that, she is still not satisfied.

"I just like improving as a player," DiBernardo said.  "You can always do better and improve, so I think that's something I strive on, and it keeps me going."

Her head coach Janet Rayfield seems something special in the senior - something that goes well beyond her talent.

"She has always had the humble piece of it that you need to be a leader and to have that mental toughness," Rayfield said.  "Now there is a confidence and maybe even an arrogance in a very, very good way.  I think that has allowed her to continue to excel."

DiBernardo led the team with eight goals and 21 points last season, despite missing seven games.

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