Champaign, Ill. - The game began on a cool, breezy and cloudless Sunday in Champaign, Illinois. The Hoosiers looked to clinch their Big Ten Tournament berth with a win over the Fighting Illini. But the Illini had more to fight for than the win, but were also trying to secure their own spot in the Conference tournament.
The Illini had the eight-to-one shot advantage until the Hoosiers got three successive corner kicks and three great scoring opportunities, but the Illini defense was having none of it.
The action went back and forth until Indiana turned the momentum in its favor. Dana Philp had a chip shot that was just high of the Illini goal. Illinois goalkeeper Leisha Alcia was able to punch the ball high and away. The resulting corner kick was all the opportunity the Hoosiers needed. Jenny Mann placed the ball into a crowd in front of the net. Kristen Sprunger was able to get under it, heading it towards center and Shelly Gruszka capitalized, directng the ball into the middle of the net to put IU in the lead at 1-0.
The Hoosiers made a change in net during halftime as junior Kristin Pimlott replaced junior keeper Shaunna Daugherty and took the reins, anchoring the Indiana defense in goal. Pimlott faced 11 shots in the second half of the 25 total shots.
An altercation in the box resulted in an Indiana foul and Illinois penalty kick at the 58:47 minute mark. Pimlott could not stop the free shot at the goal and Meghan Kolze found the lower left corner of the Indiana goal open. Her goal evened the score at 1-1.
Less than a minute and a half later Illinois Tara Hurless was able to find the back of the net again, taking the score to 2-1 where the score remained until the end of the game. Although the Hoosiers had many good opportunities, the Illini defense was able to stave off anything the IU offense could put together.
Indianas record falls to 8-5-2, 4-3-2 in the Big Ten. They take on Purdue in the Titan Series in West Lafayette on October 25.