Oct. 4, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Maddy Williams scored her team-leading eighth goal of the season and the Boilermakers' defense posted a shutout effort against a dynamic offensive team entering the night, as Purdue women's soccer defeated Illinois, 1-0, Friday evening at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex.
Clara Kridler finished with a season-high seven save and became the first goalkeeper to shut out the Fighting Illini (6-4-2, 1-2-1 Big Ten) this year. Illinois entered the night having scored 33 goals in 2013 and had not been blanked in 20 consecutive games dating back to October of last season.
Purdue (7-4-1, 2-2 Big Ten) has now won back-to-back 1-0 games against a pair of Big Ten rivals (Ohio State and Illinois) predicted to finish in the top half of the league's standings after losing 6-1 at No. 8 Penn State Sept. 26. The Boilermakers have recorded consecutive shutouts for the first time since September 2012 (vs. Tennessee-Martin and Evansville) and for the first time in Big Ten play since the opening weekend of the 2010 conference season (vs. Wisconsin and Northwestern).
Williams scored her second game-winner of the year in the ninth minute off a double assist from Chinyelu Asher and Mollie Kuramoto. The Boilermakers connected multiple short passes among the midfielders, setting up Williams' shot from the top of the 18 yard box into the top right corner of the net. Illinois goalkeeper Claire Wheatley got a hand on the ball but could not keep it out of the net.
Purdue posted its first win against Illinois since 2009 and remained unbeaten (5-0-3) all-time against the Fighting Illini in West Lafayette. The Boilermakers have scored in all 12 games this year, matching 2009 team for the second longest season-opening streak in program history.
Mikayla Lasky hit the crossbar with a header off Purdue's eighth and final corner kick opportunity of the night in the 78th minute.
Illinois pushed all of its players forward in the final five minutes and Purdue nearly surrendered an equalizer after a wild scramble with two minutes remaining. While Kridler collided with an attacking Illini player amidst a scrum in the heart of the 18-yard box, Kim Love was the Boilers' last line of defense and was in position to escort the loose ball wide of the right post.
Wheatley made the best save of the night in the 61st minute when she made a leaping punch save on a floated free kick off the foot of Melissa Casella from the middle of the field about 25 yards out. The freshman `keeper kept the ball from going into the top right corner of the net again. She also made a diving stop to her left on a shot by Asher in the 47th minute.
Kridler made five of her seven saves in the first half, including a diving stop on Big Ten goal leader Jannelle Flaws in the eighth minute and a point blank stop near the right post on a big blast off the foot of Allie Osoba in the 35th minute. The senior also made a diving save in the 56th minute.
The shot count was evenly contested in a 14-13 edge for the home side. The Fighting Illini had a 7-5 lead in shots on goal but Purdue enjoyed an 8-5 advantage in corner kicks.
Illinois played without its injured All-Big Ten midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo.
Purdue will carry a shutout streak of 193 consecutive minutes into Sunday's 4:30 p.m. game against Northwestern. The game is set to be televised live by the Big Ten Network.