Pilots fall to Illinois in back and forth battle

By The Beacon | November 22, 2013 5:13pm

By Katie Dunn |

The “return to glory” the women’s soccer team was hoping would take them to the finals of the NCAA tournament this year came to a halt this morning in Neb. The team fell just short of a victory over the University of Illinois Illini with a 4-3 loss in overtime.

Two early goals from senior Micaela Capelle and freshman Danica Evans put the Pilots up 2-0 through the first half. After came a series of back and forth goals, one more for the Pilots from Parkes Kendrick, and the final one coming with about a minute left in overtime from a wild play after the Pilots got the ball from a penalty.

Penalties in the goal box, which resulted in penalty kicks, gave Illinois two of their four goals. Senior goalkeeper Erin Dees had six saves and a few athletic dives to keep the Pilots battling. Dees was busy on a cold, snowy field having to worry about the 10 shots on goal Illinois had. The Pilots had 5.

This team has gotten national recognition, appearing on ESPNU and having the WCC coach, defender and freshman of the year on the team along with 10 players receiving all-league recognition. For seven seniors, this is the last game they played in a Pilots jersey.

Nine months may seem like a long time to wait for soccer to return to Merlo Field but it will give the team time to focus on what they need to improve and the Villa Drum Squad, who has followed them all over the US this year, including to today’s game in Neb., time to prepare for next season.