Sept. 22, 2002
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 20 Purdue women's soccer team bumped off the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday at the Varsity Soccer Complex, 1-0, for the best Big Ten start in school history at 2-0-0. The win improves the Boilermakers to 6-1-0 overall to tie the record for the best overall start.
With the win, Purdue also extends its win streak and its shutouts to five. Sunday's game also marked only the third time in history that the Boilermakers have won two Big Ten games back-to-back and it was the first time they both occurred in the same weekend. Previously, Purdue had twice won on Sunday and then again on Friday of the next weekend.
"We played very, very well over the first half of the game," said Purdue head coach Robert Klatte. "I think that we were unfortunate not to have converted on a chance or two. We dominated the place of play on the field and the physical confrontations. We outshot them 10-1 in the first half and we were unlucky not to get a goal or two."
The Boilermakers began the game in a very differently than Friday's game against Minnesota, as Purdue took immediate control and headed to the south goal in an attempt to score quickly. At the 1:42 mark, the Boilermakers found their first opportunity for a possible score, as junior midfielder Jessica Baumhoff sent the ball forward and just wide right. But, it was punched out by Wisconsin's Kelly Conway in the goal and the Boilermakers got their first corner kick at the 2:04 mark.
That corner was followed by another corner, as a Badger defender deflected the ball out. Purdue was not able to convert those opportunities into a goal, but tallied four more shots in only six minutes, three of which were great shots by the Boilermakers and were saved by Conway.
As the Boilermakers continued their domination of the first half, the Badgers were able to maintain their composure and keep their defense holding tight, despite being outshot 10-1 in the first half.
After the halftime break, the Badgers came out with a renewed zeal for the game and began an attack that was working the ball on the ground and being much more patient with its passes and looks toward the Purdue keeper, Jocelyn Cavalier
Unfortunately, the Boilermakers were not able to maintain the level of defense that they had during the first half, but still held the Badgers scoreless and tallied their own goal at the 61:57 mark. The play began when junior defender Krystal Pepper threw the ball in on the near sideline to junior forward Annette Kent, who saw sophomore forward Lauren Sesselmann on the far post of the goal. Sesselmann placed the ball in the net after Kent dribbled through three Wisconsin defenders and passed it down from the 10-yard line to the waiting Sesselmann.
For Sesselmann, last year's team-leading scorer, it was the first goal of the year, as it was also the first assist of the 2002 campaign for both Pepper and Kent. Kent now totals seven points on the year, with three goals and the one assist.
"... You go into the second and half it was much more difficult and that's just how soccer is," said Klatte. "You can play so well in one half and not get the goal. Then in the second half, we were doing a lot of chasing and a lot of defending all across the field. They had a lot of possession and then all of a sudden, we knick the winner The good thing is that we were a bit more organized off of our set plays than we have been that's definitely something we've been working on the last two weeks and it's something we going to continue to address."
The rest of the game continued in a very physical manner, as Purdue racked up two yellow cards - one each for Baumhoff and senior midfielder Tari St. John - and Wisconsin tallied two yellows and a red card.
The first yellow for Wisconsin came at the 49:56 mark when Molly Meuer was warned for a hard tackle. Then, only 14 minutes later, she was red carded and dismissed from the game for a very flagrant and unnecessary tackle against St. John, causing the Badgers to have to play one woman down for the rest of the game. St. John's card came at the 88:37 mark, as she was warned for an arm to the back of a defender. Wisconsin's Erin Dubina was also carded only six seconds later and Sesselmann was carded less than a minute later for a delay of game, when she was helping to line up her teammates in a wall on a Wisconsin free kick close to the Boilermaker goal.
With the Badgers one woman short, the Boilermakers looked to capitalize and make Wisconsin pay with another insurance goal. But, despite three good looks, the Old Gold and Black just could not bury the ball behind Conway.
"So, we're happy with the win, but we're going to look beyond it and realize that we have the Buckeyes this weekend in Columbus and that's going to be a challenging affair and we're going to continue to take one game at a time," said Klatte.
The 20th-ranked Boilermakers will return to the pitch on Friday, as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 5 p.m. EDT. Then, on Sunday, they will head to University Park, Pa., to play the 12th-ranked Nittany Lions of Penn State at 1 p.m. EDT.
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