CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Vanessa DiBernardo is 4th on the Illini all-time goals list, 3rd in all-time points, now she’s the 2nd former Illini soccer player to join the Illinois athletics Hall of Fame.
From Illini Athletics release: “Vanessa DiBernardo was one of Illinois’ most-heralded soccer players, earning Second-Team All-America recognition in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She twice earned First-Team All-Region in addition to one Second-Team All-Region honor. DiBernardo was the 2014 Big Ten Medal of Honor winner from Illinois. She was a three-time First-Team All-Big Ten pick, the 2011 Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year after leading the conference in goals and points. DiBernardo was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List three times and was selected fourth overall in the 2014 NWSL College Draft by the Chicago Red Stars, where she continues to play. She is currently fourth on the UI career goals list with 43, the career assist leader with 22 and third in career points with 108. DiBernardo has represented the U.S. at the under-20 and under-23 level, helping the U.S. to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup championship. She currently resides in Chicago.”
“Just, I guess, happy,” DiBernardo said. “Pride and I was not expecting the phone call at all, a random morning, especially during this time that’s kind of that last thing you’re thinking about but I was very excited and just honored to be receiving and thankful for my time at Illinois and just thankful for the coaches and the staff and definitely my teammates that I played with over those four years.”
She joins Tara Hurless as soccer players in the Hall of Fame.