On the Road Again: Redbirds Visit Indiana State, Loyola-Chicago
Bethany Russ
Bethany Russ

Oct. 4, 2007

NORMAL, Ill. - The four-game road swing for the Illinois State women's soccer team continues this weekend with a pair of games. The Redbirds (4-3-1) open Missouri Valley Conference play at Indiana State (4-7-0) on Friday, Oct. 5, at 3 p.m. and then face in-state foe Loyola-Chicago (6-5-0) on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m.

The Redbirds, winless in their last three games, are coming off a 2-2 tie at Oakland on Sept. 30. After taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by senior forward Bethany Russ, ISU fell behind 2-1 early in the second half. In the 74th minute, sophomore defender Danielle Mutters scored her first-career goal to tie the game and push it to overtime. In overtime, ISU escaped two close calls that could have won the game for Oakland. In the first overtime, sophomore goalkeeper Katie Grill-Donovan came out to play the ball and knocked over an Oakland player, giving her a penalty shot. The kick went wide and the game remained tied. In the second overtime, Oakland had the only shot of the period, which was saved by Grill-Donovan to preserve the draw; ISU's first of the season.

Russ' goal gave her the team lead in both goals (four) and points (nine) for the season, but it held even more significance. The tally propelled her into the top-10 in both categories on the ISU career lists. She is tied for sixth in career goals (11) and is ninth in points (29).

Conference play begins for nearly every team in the Valley on Friday, with Creighton visiting Missouri State and Northern Iowa hosting Evansville. Since joining the Valley in 1998, ISU is 4-3-2 in conference-openers, but has not won one since 2003 when the Redbirds topped Northern Iowa in double overtime, 1-0. ISU opened the conference schedule at Indiana State in 2004 and lost, 2-1. The Redbirds do lead the all-time series 5-2-0, with all five of their wins coming via shutout.



The Redbirds own a 5-2-1 series advantage against Loyola. The Ramblers have won the last two meetings, including a 3-2 overtime victory the last time they faced off in 2005. Loyola is on a four-game winning streak, during which the Ramblers have outscored their opponents 11-3.