Oct. 4, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The 12th-ranked Purdue women’s soccer team played 20th-ranked Michigan State to a 1-1 tie Sunday afternoon at the Varsity Soccer Complex.
“I thought it was a really good soccer game,” head coach Robert Klatte said. “Both teams were dangerous at moments. We were very happy with the amount of possession that we garnered during the match. Our defensive pressure created turnovers for large portions of the game. We got forward and we created shooting opportunities and some very, very good looks at goal.”
Purdue (7-2-3, 2-0-2) controlled the tempo and offensive action from the opening kick. The Boilermakers were rewarded for their persistence in the 19th minute when Sylvia Forbes headed a free kick into the back of the net. Sophomore Kellie Phillips took a free kick from in front of Purdue’s bench and curled the ball into the box, where Forbes jumped higher than everyone else to put the ball into the back of the net.
The goal was the fifth this season by Forbes, which ties her single-season career high from 2007. Purdue scored first for the ninth time in the first 12 games this season and has outscored its opponents 15-5 in the first half.
Michigan State (7-1-3, 1-1-1) struck early in the second half to tie the score. The Spartans went on the counter attack in the 50th minute, and eventually Hannah Peterson was with the ball at the top of the penalty box. Peterson cranked a shot from 17 yards away that just found its way under the crossbar and into the back of the net.
The Boilermakers enjoyed a plethora of scoring chances, but a bit of bad luck and some great saves by Michigan State goalkeeper Jill Flietstra prevented a second goal. Purdue twice had shots hit the crossbar and had one shot that looked destined for goal thwarted when Flieststra dove back and grabbed the ball just inches from the goal line.
Michigan State had the first chance for the golden goal in overtime. Laura Heyboer, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, found herself in a one-on-one situation with Purdue goalkeeper Jenny Bradfisch, but Bradfisch made a diving save to push the ball past the post.
Purdue responded in the second overtime with two quick scoring opportunities. Just 25 seconds into the final 10 minutes, freshman Vanessa Ibewuike took a pass from Forbes and ran with it along the right side of the penalty box. She eventually crossed it to senior co-captain Jessica Okoroafo, who unleashed a point-blank shot that Flietstra managed to push over the crossbar. Less than 30 seconds later, Okoroafo had another chance when she headed a ball played in by Ibewuike that Flietstra again pushed over the crossbar.
“Hats off to their goalkeeper,” Klatte said. “She kept them in the match, and then they were always dangerous on the break with Lauren Hill and Heyboer on top. They are always a threat to get in behind you. I thought our backline did well. Liz Secue played fantastic, and Jenny Bradfisch was called upon to make a few key saves as well. Our midfield did a great job. We just have to be a little more clinical in our finishing, and if we can do that, I think we’re a really dangerous side to compete with.”
Bradfisch started in goal for the 58th time in her Purdue career, which ties her with Jocelyn Cavalier for second-most in school history. Forbes, Lauren Montenegro, Phillips, Brookley Rogers and Liz Secue all were on the field for the entire 110 minutes of play.
Purdue ended the game with a 31-14 edge in shots, including a 6-4 advantage in the two overtime periods, and took 12 corner kicks to Michigan State’s two. The Boilermakers now lead the all-time series, which saw its first overtime game on Sunday, 8-3-1. Purdue is alone in first place in the Big Ten with eight points, followed by Minnesota and Wisconsin with seven.
The Boilermakers have put together an unblemished 4-0-2 record in their first six home games, which ties them with the 2002 and 2004 teams for the longest unbeaten streak at home to start a season. Purdue is unbeaten in the Big Ten after the first four games for the third straight season, a feat the team had not accomplished before 2007.
Purdue returns to action Thursday when it travels to in-state rival Indiana for a 7:30 p.m. ET start. Live results and a live radio broadcast can be found at PurdueSports.com.