As Illinois defeated Illinois State Sunday 1-0, adversity seemed to follow the ‘Birds amid the second to last game of their long-endured road trip.
Illinois' Lauren Ciesla scored the only goal of the match in the 71st minute.
Possession wise, the Illini were in charge for the majority of the game.
U of I dominated and controlled the shot ratio 16-7 as Illinois State failed to convert any of their scoring chances.
Illinois tripled ISU’s shots on goal, totaling in a ratio of 9-3 while only scoring one goal.
Despite these statistical differences, the Redbirds defended well, regardless of the one-goal loss.
The ‘Birds recorded seven shots with sophomore Natalie Vaughn-Low, redshirt-sophomore Abby Basler and sophomore Alissa Ramsden all marking shots on goal.
Junior goalkeeper Haley Smith had eight saves, attributing to the Redbirds’ effort to keep the game as close as they could.
In addition to those eight saves, Smith continued her spectacular play by making a diving stop on a breakaway, and stonewalling the rebound.
Smith also climbs to 43 saves this season, officially moving up in Illinois State’s all-time saves list to third in school-history, collecting her 200th career save.
Fighting for air, it looked as if ISU could tie in the 72nd minute, but freshman forward Shania Dudas’s shot was just off as it deflected off the crossbar.
Illinois State now posts a 2-4-2 record without any Missouri Valley Conference play recorded. U of I currently sits at 5-2.
Illinois State is set to take another trip to Ohio this year, facing Toledo at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.
The Redbirds then return to Normal at noon Sunday, Sept. 16 hosting Omaha. This will be the Redbirds’ first home game since Aug. 19.