Lincoln - The Nebraska soccer team dropped a tough 3-1 decision to the No. 25 Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday afternoon at the Nebraska Soccer Field on Senior Day. Junior Morgan Marlborough scored her 20th goal of the season in the second half, but NU was unable to turn any of their other 18 shots into goals. Nebraska, who falls to 7-8-1 overall and 4-6-0 in Big Ten play, will have to win there game next week at Minnesota to have any shot at the Big Ten Tournament.
Four Nebraska seniors played the final game of their careers at the Nebraska Soccer Field on Sunday, as fans said goodbye to Katie Goetzmann, Michaella Fulmer, Blair Slapper and Molly Thomas. Combined, the group started a combined 195 games and posted a 46-40-11 record during their time at Nebraska
Illinois' Marissa Mykines got the Fighting Illini on the board at 28:45 on a perfectly placed shot from over 30 yards away. Shayla Mutz tossed the ball in and Mykines blasted a shot at the top right corner of the goal over the outstretched arms of Nebraska goalie Emma Stevens. Illinois would extend their lead to 2-0 just over 10 minutes later at 39:57 on a free kick from Jenna Carosio just outside the box following a foul on the Huskers.
Marlborough cut the Illini lead in half at 48:22 off Stacy Bartels' fourth assist of 2011. Bartels cut into the box and drew three Illinois defenders to her, which allowed Bartels to dish the ball off to a wide open Marlborough. Once Marlborough had the ball in a one-on-one opportunity, Illinois goalie Steph Panozzo had no chance against the NU All-American.
The Huskers had on great chance to tie the game with seven minutes left in regulation when Marlborough pulled all the defends to her and passed to Bartels, but a Fighting Illini defender got a foot on Bartels shot from behind and it was sent high. Illinois would put the game away at 86:39 on Vanessa DiBernardo's 15th goal of the year.
Nebraska will now head on the road to Minneapolis, Minn., for a Friday night showdown with the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 7 p.m. on BTN.com. It will be the final regular-season game for each team and the Huskers will be able to jump ahead of the Gophers with a win as Minnesota currently leads NU by two points in the Big Ten standings after each team lost on Sunday.