COLUMBIA – Illinois scored in the fourth minute of overtime to earn a 2-1 victory over Missouri in the women's soccer season opener on Saturday night at Walton Stadium.
The Illini's Chichi Nweke took a pass from Laura Knutson, dribbled into the box and shot to the left of Tigers goalkeeper Tasha Dittamore for the winner.
No. 17 Illinois was in control early after Marti Desjarlais scored in the seventh minute. No. 22 Missouri tied the game in the 48th minute when junior Michelle Collins scored on an assist from Bree Thornton.
Dittamore stopped three consecutive shots from the Illini in the 80th minute to thwart Illinois’ best scoring opportunities in the second half. Dittamore, who recorded seven saves, knocked away a shot from Marissa Mykines, sprawled out to punch away a second chance from Mykines and managed to stop a shot from Jessica Levitt before the ball was cleared.
Missouri nearly scored in the 86th minute but Illinois’ goalie converged on the ball before Tigers' freshman Kendra Collins could get off a shot.
Neither team broke through in the final four minutes, sending the contest into overtime.
The Illini outshot the Tigers 17-13.
Missouri plays next against Southeastern Conference foe Auburn at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Walton Stadium.