WMU Draws Illinois in Tourney

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Western Michigan women's soccer team will face Illinois in the program's first-ever NCAA Championship appearance, an opportunity the team earned by capturing the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship Sunday afternoon.

The Broncos (13-7-1) and the No. 16-seed Illini (16-3-2) will play at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 14 in Champaign, Ill. The other first round match features Purdue (12-5-3) versus DePaul (14-6-2). Friday's winners advance to the second round, to be held on Sunday afternoon and again hosted by Illinois.

"We are obviously excited to be participating in the NCAA Championship," head coach Mike Haines said. "We will be competing against one of the better program's in the nation and a team that is playing well, especially defensively. We are playing great soccer right now as well and have a very confident team."

Illinois didn't allow a goal en route to the school's first-ever league tournament championship and hasn't given up a score in the previous six matches (13 shutouts overall). Illinois is now unbeaten in its last eight games dating back to the 2-0 loss to Penn State on Oct. 12, tying the school record for games without a loss set earlier this season. The Illini have now lost only once in their last 17 games, going 14-1-2 after starting the season 2-2.

The two teams have met just once in women's soccer action. The Illini escaped with a 2-1 overtime win during the 1998 campaign at a regular season tournament in Louisville.

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