WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Morgan Marlborough did all the scoring Friday evening at the Varsity Soccer Complex, posting her third hat trick of the season and leaving Purdue women's soccer to lament its missed opportunities after a 3-0 loss to Nebraska in the first Big Ten Conference meeting between the two universities.
The Boilermakers (3-7-1, 0-2 Big Ten) were unable to take advantage of any of their quality scoring chances, any of which if capitalized on would have helped keep them in the game. The Huskers (5-3-1, 2-0 Big Ten) led 1-0 at halftime and opened up their lead on goals by Marlborough in the 54th and 83rd minutes. The six-foot striker has posted a hat trick in each of the first two Big Ten games of the year and leads the league with 15 goals.
Purdue enjoyed a 6-2 edge in corner kicks and on two occasions was unable to take advantage of a corner either landing in front or sailing across the mouth of the goal.
Three goalkeepers saw action in the game, all making some quality saves. Nebraska's Emma Stevens made six saves in her second shutout of the season. Her top stops came in the 33rd and 81st minutes on shots by Alexis Tryba and Chinyelu Asher, respectively. Stevens made a diving save to her right on Tryba's blast from the left flank in the first half. Late in the game before Marlborough completed her hat trick, Stevens made a 1-v-1 save against Asher near the right post.
But it was Alex Hairston and Hadley Stuart that had the best opportunities to equalize for the Boilers. Stuart was alone in front of the goal near the right post in the 40th minute on the second of Purdue's two first-half corners. Katie Leinert's corner fell at her feet, but the sophomore missed high.
In the 50th minute after an offside call on the Boilers gave Nebraska a free kick on the right flank, Stevens misplayed the restart and gave the ball back to Purdue. A right to left cross came to Hairston at the top of the 18-yard box. Instead of shooting immediately upon taking possession, Hairston tried to improve her position with a couple extra touches. The Huskers' defenders were able to recover and crash the play, pressuring Hairston enough that her shot was hit directly at Stevens in the middle of the goal.
Clara Kridler made seven saves, one shy of her season high, in 74 minutes of action. Yana Lyon relieved her teammate with Nebraska leading 2-0 and almost immediately had to make back-to-back saves. Kridler and Lyon both made a nice save to initially deny Marlborough the hat trick, but the forward finally scored her third goal on a tap in near the left post following a rebound.
Kridler's best stop was a kick save in the 64th minute on Marlborough's first opportunity to complete the hat trick. Nebraska quickly countered following a Purdue corner. Marlborough advanced the ball all the way from midfield, finally opting to shoot on the inner edge of the 18-yard box. Kridler's quick reaction allowed her to get a foot on the ball and deflect it out toward the left flank.
Lyon made a diving save to her left on a shot by Marlborough about a minute after entering the game. The rebound came to Stacy Bartels on the right side of the 18-yard box and Lyon held her ground at the right post, stopping a point blank shot.
Lyon would make one more diving save, this time to her right, on a shot by Marlborough in the 81st minute. She finished with four saves as the Boilers' goalkeepers combined for 11.
Purdue was actually the first team to find the back of the net on the night. But an early goal by Laura McCalla in the 10th minute was negated by an offside call. McCalla had already finished the chance on the right flank before the referee realized the linesman on the east sideline had raised his flag to signal the offside.