Althoff grad helps Illini women's soccer advance to NCAA Sweet 16

Special to the News-DemocratNovember 23, 2013 

Althoff High School graduate Megan Pawloski stole the ball and set up Janelle Flaws for the game-winning goal Friday with one minute remaining as the Illinois women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a 4-3 overtime victory over seventh-ranked Portland.

Illinois (11-8-3) will play Boston College for the first time in school history at 1 p.m. Sunday in Lincoln, Neb. This is the Illini's fourth appearance in the Round of 16.

Following a miscommunication on a Pilots' free kick just outside of their box, Pawloski stole the ball and passed it to Flaws in the center of the box, who tallied her second goal of the contest and fifth game-winner on the year.

Flaws increased her school-record total to 23 goals, which is tied with Rachel Daly of St. John's for the most in the nation in 2013.

"Megan took advantage of a mistake on their free kick," Flaws said. "I knew if I got myself open in the box she would find me. There were some shots earlier that I think I should have put away, so I was just concentrating on taking advantage of that opportunity, going one-on-one with the keeper in the box."

Pawloski has three goals and six assists in 22 games.

Portland scored twice on just three shots in the first half, while the Illini were held scoreless on eight shots in the opening frame.

Portland, who carried a 2-0 advantage into the break, scored again in the 27th minute.

Illinois' comeback started in the 54th minute when senior Vanessa DiBernardo scored. Six minutes later, Portland answered back with a goal by Kendrick in the 59th minute to push their lead back to two goals at 3-1.

The Illini completed the comeback with a pair of penalty kicks in the final 22 minutes of regulation. DiBernardo was fouled inside the box in the 69th minute and Flaws put away her first goal of the game on the PK. In the 84th minute, sophomore Nicole Breece was taken down inside the box, which set up DiBernardo for the equalizer on the penalty kick, her second goal of the contest and seventh on the season.

Illinois overcame a two-goal deficit for the first time in 2013 and scored the most goals by any team this season on West Coast Conference champion Portland, which had only allowed 15 goals all year.

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