CINCINNATI - Purdue women's soccer scored first for the seventh straight game, but Cincinnati rallied and netted the game winner in the 86th minute, defeating the Boilermakers 2-1 Sunday to remain unbeaten on the season.
Purdue (5-2) held the lead for 24 minutes in the first half after an own goal in the 17th minute. A back pass from UC defender Kiki Lowell eluded goalkeeper Jane Sensibaugh and was escorted into the net by Hannah Melchiorre.
A long pass up the right flank from Maddy Williams created the sequence. As the two Bearcats (6-0-1) got their wires crossed, Melchiorre was the only player that could have prevented the loose ball from rolling into the net. However, instead of tapping it in herself, Melchiorre opted not to make contact with the ball. Because the last contact was made by a UC player, it was officially scored as an own goal, the first such score Purdue benefitted from since a September 2012 loss at Iowa.
Jaycie Brown accounted for the late game winner. She was able to capitalize on a rebound, scoring with a shot into the lower left corner after goalkeeper Katie Luce made an impressive one-handed save on Brown's first shot of the sequence inside the 18-yard box.
Sophie Gorman scored the equalizer in the 42nd minute, lofting a shot over Luce from 25 yards out after coming up with a steal at the top of the final third. It was a perfectly placed shot that hit off the bottom of the crossbar and caromed across the goal line.
Sunday marked the second year in a row in which the winner of the Purdue-Cincinnati game conceded the first goal of the day. The Boilermakers rallied for a 2-1 overtime win vs. UC last year at Folk Field.
The Bearcats had shots hit the crossbar twice in the second half. Luce finished with a pair of saves, both coming in the second half when UC enjoyed a 10-3 edge in the shot count. Sensisbaugh was credited with three saves, two coming on shots by Sarah Griffith.
Sarah Clark, Kylie Hase, Maya Lambert and Hannah Mussallem went the distance among the Purdue field players. Ena Sabanagic was the first Boilermaker off the bench and logged 24 minutes to lead the reserves. Ranked 24th nationally this week by TopDrawerSoccer.com, Cincinnati substitutes as frequently as any team in the Midwest. Thirteen Bearcats saw action off the bench Sunday, seven of them logging at least 20 minutes. Defender Vanessa Gilles was the lone UC field player to go the distance.
By scoring first in every game this season, Purdue has also held the lead in each of the first seven games. In each of the Boilermakers' two losses this season, both in 2-1 fashion, the opposition has scored the game winner in the final five minutes. Thus, Purdue has only trailed for seven of the 630 minutes played while conversely holding the lead for 438 minutes. Sunday's game marked the first time in 2017 in which the Boilermakers have not held the lead at some point in the second half.
Purdue has scored in the first seven games of a season for the first time since 2013 (first 13 games).
The Boilermakers return to action Thursday when they open Big Ten play with a 7:30 p.m. ET game at Michigan.