A stunning comeback on a snow-dusted University of Nebraska field produced an upset win that moved the Illinois women’s soccer team into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
The Illini meet Boston College, which advanced with another upset, Sunday afternoon in Lincoln.
Illinois rallied from a 3-1 deficit with 31 minutes to play and beat 7th-ranked Portland 4-3 Friday when Big Ten forward of the year Jannelle Flaws of Glenbrook South netted her second goal of the game in overtime.
It was the fifth game-winner and 23rd goal of the season for Flaws, tying her with Rachel Daly of St. John’s for the Division I scoring lead.
Penalty kick goals by Flaws in the 69th minute and Waubonsie Valley’s Vanessa DiBernardo in the 84th – her second goal of the game – sent it into overtime.
The Illini (11-8-3) dominated play, with a 24-11 shooting advantage (including a school record 14 shots by Flaws). They scored the most goals of any opponent this season against a Portland team that had allowed just 15 in its previous 20 games.
Boston College (12-9-1) scored a 4-1 rout of 10th-ranked Nebraska, the Big Ten regular season and tournament champion. The Eagles, one of eight Atlantic Coast Conference teams to make the Sweet 16, outshot the home-standing Cornhuskers 30-12.
No.23 Notre Dame (13-7-1) was among the other ACC teams advancing, with a 1-0 win over Western Michigan in Ann Arbor on freshman Cari Roccaro's goal in the 69th minute. The Irish play there Sunday afternoon against No. 11 Michigan, which beat Illinois State 3-0.
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