The Illinois State women’s soccer team was able to keep its winning streak alive Wednesday night, as they pulled off a 4-1 victory over the Western Illinois Leathernecks at Adelaide Street Field.
The win is ISU’s third in a row heading into Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend.
“Our girls responded to the style of play that was pressed on us tonight incredibly well,” ISU head coach Brad Silvey said. “I am happy that we were able to net four goals against a tough Western team. Building some momentum heading into conference is what we talked about.”
ISU started off the scoring early, as junior midfielder Kate Del Fava broke away for a solo goal giving the Redbirds a 1-0 advantage in the 6’ minute. This was the second game in a row Del Fava scored first for the Redbirds, as she scored the game’s first goal in the 4’ minute Sunday against Omaha. Del Fava is currently tied for the team lead in goals at three.
The Leathernecks took very little time to respond. In the 12’ minute, Zoe Clarke’s shot from the center circle snuck past ISU goalie Haley Smith to tie the game at 1-1. Clarke’s shot was assisted by Lauryn Peters.
Later in the opening half, the Redbirds were on the attack again. This time, Del Fava was able to find junior Alix McArthur for her third goal of the season as well in the 31’ minute. ISU held a 2-1 lead over the Leathernecks heading into halftime.
The aggressive nature of the Redbirds’ front continued into the second half as they struck first again.
In the 73’ minute freshman middle fielder Hannah Mueller found the net for her first career goal, extending the ISU lead to 3-1.
“I couldn’t be any happier for her,” Silvey said of Mueller. “She was one of my first recruits. When she initially came in she was facing some adversity, and for her to battle through that when our season is going on and fast forward to today scoring two goals is incredible. It really speaks to her character.”
Mueller scored again just moments later, this time on a breakaway in the 79’ minute. The Redbirds would maintain their lead for the remainder of the game in the 4-1 victory.
“It feels amazing,” Mueller said of her goals. “The rush, the adrenaline afterwards.”
Illinois State, who improves to a 5-4-2 record on the season, returns to Adelaide Street Field at 2 p.m. Saturday, facing off against Missouri State to start off Valley conference play.