The Illinois State soccer team will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to face the Michigan Wolverines in the first round of the NCAA tournament Saturday, November 12 at 6 p.m. CT.
Illinois State earned an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Sunday in Normal. ISU has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament two of the past three seasons.
ISU’s goal all season was to get back to where the team was in 2014, after falling short in 2015. The Redbirds won the regular season and conference championship in 2014 and headed down to Tampa, Florida to face the Bulls of South Florida. ISU came away with the 3-2 victory after taking a 2-0 lead at the half and securing it with a third goal early in the second half. The Bulls fought their way back into competition with two goals of their own in the second half but the late rally was not enough.
The Redbirds advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, for the second time in program history, to face the Waves of Pepperdine. ISU gave it their all but the Pepperdine defense left them without a single goal in the 4-0 loss. The Redbirds finished that season with their 10th regular season title, sixth conference title, sixth NCAA appearance, and the MVC Player of the Year on their squad, Rachel Tejada.
This year, the Redbirds have returned to the top of the MVC. ISU now has 11 regular season titles, seven conference titles, and is getting ready to make its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance with the MVC Player of the Year on their squad once again with senior Lauren Koehl.
ISU will face Michigan Saturday, November 12 at 6 p.m. CT. The winner of Saturday’s match will advance to the second round where they will face the winner of Charlotte vs. Duke.
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