The Nebraska soccer team went toe-to-toe with Illinois on Sunday afternoon. After a brutal battle, the Huskers came out on top 1-0 to earn their second shutout win of the season.
Coming off a heartbreaking loss to Northwestern a few days earlier, the Huskers had an impressive defensive stand at home and got their first win at Hibner Stadium this season. Even though the defense was impressive in their home opener again Northwestern, they fell 1-0. Against Illinois, Nebraska wasn’t going to accept another home defeat.
In this Big Ten showdown, the game started off slow for the Huskers, as they failed to take a shot in the first 30 minutes. While Illinois had five shots, none were on goal, and the game had no score at halftime.
As the second half started, Illinois continued to strike hard but couldn’t get enough shots on goal to score.
The Huskers were able to respond when senior Brenna Ochoa scored the game’s lone goal in the 58th minute. Sophomore Kayla Mostowich sent across to the senior, and Ochoa fired the shot past Illinois goalkeeper Jaelyn Cunningham to put the Huskers on the board. The team then held off the Illini to secure the win. This was Ochoa’s first goal of the season and Mostowich’s first assist.
The Fighting Illini were 7-2 on the season and 1-1 in the conference going into the game and are one of the best teams the Huskers have faced. However, this didn’t seem to phase Nebraska, as it held Illinois to only three shots on goal, while the Huskers had six.
The six shots on goal were made by Ochoa (three), fellow senior Meg Brandt (two) and sophomore Olivia Brown (one).
All three shots on goal by the Illini were saved by senior goalkeeper Aubrei Corder, who made her 73rd career start and recorded her 26th shutout.
The game itself was a very aggressive match between the two conference foes, as seven players for the Huskers played all 90 minutes of the game. Along with Brandt, Brown, Corder, and Ochoa; senior Sinclaire Miramontez, sophomore Kenzie Coons, and freshman Mila Gretzky never left the field.
There was also a total of 26 fouls in the game, 13 on each team.
With the win, the Huskers are now 3-6-2 on the season and 2-2 in conference play.
The next game for the team will be at Iowa on Thursday, Oct. 3, against the 10-2 Hawkeyes.