Conroy Leads Huskers Past Illini; Now 3-0 in B1G
Champaign, Ill. - The Nebraska soccer team took a 2-0 lead in the early stages of the second half but had to overcome adversity on the road to earn its first six-game win streak since 2004 with a 3-2 victory over Illinois on Sunday afternoon.
The gutsy road victory was the second consecutive match in which the Huskers have been outshot (Illinois 19-17, 6-5 on goal) but still able to pull out the match with stellar defense throughout the match and down the stretch in the final minutes.
Sydney Miramontez gave the Huskers (8-2-1, 3-0-0 B1G) an early 1-0 lead on the road in the 15th minute when the freshman struck from 20 yards out, putting the ball into the upper-right 90 for her third goal of the year.
The remainder of the first half saw both sides trade shots and get up-and-down the field as Nebraska maintained the 1-0 edge heading into the break. The Huskers and Illini (6-3-2, 1-1-1 B1G) both amassed seven shot attempts, with a pair of shots on goal each.
NU wasted no time getting things going out of the locker room as the Huskers increased its lead to 2-0 just 23 seconds into the second half. Miramontez was once again in on the action as she sent in a right-sided cross to the waiting junior Mayme Conroy who flicked it in near post.
The Illini responded quickly when leading-scorer Janelle Flaws found the back of the net from the right side center box to cut the NU lead to 2-1 at the 51:45 mark. Flaws then tied the match just 87 seconds later when she got around the keeper and put the equalizer into the right side to knot it up at 2-2.
The Huskers regained the lead seven minutes later as Conroy notched her second goal of the match as she headed in a centered pass from Caroline Gray. The eventual game-winning goal beat the Illini keeper into the bottom right for Conroy's fifth tally of the year and 20th career. The multi-goal performance for Conroy is the fourth of her NU career.
Nebraska goalkeeper Emma Stevens made four stops in the match en route to her eighth victory of the year as she was strong in net down the stretch for Head Coach John Walker. Freshman Jaycie Johnson put up a team-high five shot attempts, including two on net, while Conroy finished with four shots and the two scores.
Seniors Ari Romero, Maritz Hayes and Jordan Jackson were the lone Huskers to play all 90 minutes as Romero and Hayes keyed the NU defense, while Jackson recorded a pair of shots in the conference road win.
The Huskers now return to Lincoln for a pair of Big Ten matches starting Thursday, Oct. 3 vs Iowa at 4 p.m. before hosting No. 13 Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m.