Sept. 9, 2007
SEATTLE, Wash. - The Boilermakers (3-1-1) scored the biggest win in their 10-year history Sunday with a 1-0 shutout of No. 1 Portland (3-1) at the Nike/Husky Invitational. Shauna Stapleton headed in the game-winner at the 58th minute off a Parrissa Eyorokon corner kick.
Eyorokon served her kick to the far post, where it was first headed up by Jessica Okoroafo. Stapleton, standing near post, proceeded to bury the ball into the right side of the net. All three of Stapleton's goals this season have been scored this weekend.
The win over the top-ranked Portland team was the highest-ranked opponent to fall to the Purdue soccer team in the Boilermakers' program history. Purdue had defeated No.9 Michigan on Oct. 11, 2001, the previous high-ranking win for the Boilermakers.
Purdue's win also marked the first time any Boilermaker squad defeated a No.1-ranked team since the Boilermaker baseball team topped Rice in Houston on Feb. 16, 2001, 5-2. The last time a Purdue women's team defeated a top-ranked program was on Nov. 15, 1998, when the women's basketball team defeated Tennessee to begin their national championship season.
Purdue scored its goal minutes after defensive back Zarinah Blockton received a red card and was ejected from the game for fighting with Portland's leading scorer Rachael Rapinoe. Blockton was thrown to the ground by Rapinoe and retaliated with a strike to the side of head.
The Boilermakers are expected to play without Blockton for Wednesday's and Friday's home matches against Valparaiso and Morehead State.
"Z was coaxed by their player into making an irrational decision," said head coach Rob Klatte. "But even in that bad situation, we have to back down and keep control."
Klatte said this was only the second time one of his players received a red card. Jessica Baumhoff received two yellows for cursing and a hard foul during the 2002 season.
Purdue remained focused after Blockton's ejection, bottling up the Portland attackers inside the 18-yard box. The Pilots recorded only 10 shots and just three were on goal as Jenny Bradfisch pitched her second shutout of the year.
"Today's win was all about confidence," said Klatte. "Going into halftime there was a realization that we can 'play' in this game - we grew into a mode of self-confidence. I was also impressed that while we were down a player, the communication and organization did not skip a beat. Everyone knew what they were doing and supposed to do - no one had any doubts we could win."
Purdue's biggest test defensively came during the 76th through 78th minutes as the defense cleared out three consecutive Portland corner kicks. Bradfisch was forced to save a Natalie Budge shot after the first corner, but the Pilots could not generate any chances following the remaining two corners.
The Pilots rifled off five shots in the last 13 minutes, but two were blocked, two more sailed high and one went wide.
Okoroafo led the Boilermakers with three shots. The other two attempts were recorded by Stapleton and Shaffer. Budge and Rapinoe led Portland with three shots, four other players shot once.
Purdue returns home to the Varsity Soccer Complex Wednesday for a late afternoon match with Valparaiso, which will kick off a seven-game homestand that runs through the end of September.