WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Alex Hairston gave Purdue women's soccer the lead midway through the first half with her 10th career goal, but Illinois equalized in the second half and the two teams settled for a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex.
Purdue (7-4-2, 2-2-1 Big Ten) remained unbeaten in seven all-time meetings (4-0-3) with the Fighting Illini in West Lafayette. The overtime game was the Boilers' sixth of the year. They have compiled a 2-2-2 record in those six overtime affairs, the team's most since the 2009 team also played in six.
Hairston's goal in the 21st minute extended Purdue's streak of consecutive games with a goal to nine, the eighth longest streak in program history. It remains the team's longest run since the 2009 team scored in the first 12 games of the year.
Hairston scored her fourth goal of the season with a well-placed shot from the right side of the 18-yard box inside the right post. Hadley Stuart setup the goal to earn her seventh assist of the season, third best in the Big Ten. Stuart kept the play alive by running down a loose ball in the northwest corner of the field before it rolled out of bounds. She connected a right-to-left pass to Hairston, who set herself up for a shooting angle inside the near post. It was the sophomore's seventh career goal at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex and fifth in Big Ten play.
Illinois' midfield was aggressive shooting the ball for much of the afternoon, often times taking shots from well outside the 18-yard box. In the 58th minute, Nicole Denenberg connected on one those shots. She scored from the left flank about 20 yards out with a diagonal shot that found its way into the right corner of the net. Purdue had initially cleared a right-to-left cross out to the left flank where Denenberg gained possession and converted the unassisted goal.
The Fighting Illini had the advantage in scoring opportunities in overtime. In the final minute of the game, Purdue goalkeeper Clara Kridler ranged out of the 18-yard box on the right flank attempting to take the ball away from Amy Feher to essentially kill off the remainder of the time on the clock. But the action remained on the outside of the 18-yard box and Feher got a contested shot off. Tayler Francel kept the ball from going in the wide open net while also preventing the Illinois player on the weak side of the action from getting to it.
Fehrer also missed high on an uncontested shot in the final seconds of the first overtime. A few minutes earlier, she was unable to get a full shot off as the ball fell to her in the 18-yard box. Kridler was able to make a sliding save. The Boilermakers' goalkeeper finished with seven saves. She leads the Big Ten with 56 saves this season.
Purdue had some opportunities to win the game in the final five minutes of regulation, creating three corner kicks and an Alex Hairston slot pass chance near the right post with about 70 seconds left. Illinois goalkeeper Steph Panozzo, Hairston and the ball all converged simultaneously and Panozzo made a sliding save before Hairston could control the ball for a better scoring chance.
The final five minutes of regulation also saw Panozzo make a good save in the middle of the net even while she was being screened by multiple teammates that were contesting the shot attempt in traffic by Stuart.
Denenberg hit the crossbar from the right side of the 18-yard box in the 33rd minute not long after Kridler had made a save on a header by Kristen Gierman following the first corner kick of the game.
Panozzo's best save of the game was in the 37th minute on a shot by Stuart from the right flank. Panozzo was able to snare the shot while diving to her right.
Kridler kept the game tied in the second half with saves above her in the 59th and 75th minutes. She grabbed a shot by Vanessa DiBernardo on both occasions, the first of the two coming on a free kick chance from 30 yards out on the left side.
The Boilermakers finished the month of September with a 4-2-2 record. They are unbeaten (6-0-2) when they have scored a goal at home this season. Purdue returns to action Sunday, Oct. 6 for a 3 p.m. game at Ohio State. It will be the Boilers' first visit to Columbus since 2009.