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Illinois Soccer kicks off Illini Athletics Year with loss to #6 UNC

Illini looked primed for the upset at halftime.

Twitter: @IlliniSoccer

It’s here.

Illinois Athletics never really left us (they went nearly into July), but the Illini are back, and the start wasn’t so bad.

After a 5-14 campaign that ended with four shutout losses, Illinois Soccer nearly kicked off the 2018-19 Illinois Athletics year with a bang, up at the half before falling to No. 6 North Carolina in its season opener in Chapel Hill.

The Illini looked primed for an upset at halftime, leading 1-0 on Kelly Maday’s 19th-minute goal, the third of her career.

The Tar Heels struck quickly in the second half, scoring on a corner kick in the 51st minute to even up the score at 1. UNC added two more second-half goals in the Illini’s 3-1 loss.

Illinois’ schedule doesn’t get any easier, visiting No. 3 Duke on Sunday and DePaul next Thursday before returning home to Illinois Soccer Stadium on Sunday, August 26 vs. Northern Illinois.

Anyways, the next sport to get underway? Volleyball, on August 24 in Fort. Collins, Colorado. Then women’s and men’s cross country, before football’s season opener vs. Kent State on Sept. 1.