Oct. 10, 2003
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Purdue soccer's veteran tandem of Jennie Moppert and Lauren Sesselmann teamed up for the game-winning score in the Boilermakers' emotional 2-1 win at Michigan State. Kelly Haxton provided the game-tying goal as Purdue bettered its record to 9-2-1 and 5-1-0 in the Big Ten.
With its third straight conference loss, Michigan State dropped to 3-4-0 in Big Ten play and currently own an overall record of 7-5-0.
The game-winning goal was initiated by Annette Kent, who dribbled the ball around at midfield before swinging the ball over to Moppert running alone down the right side. Moppert maintained possesion through a handful of defenders as she began to cross towards the middle. As she neared the penalty box, she slotted to ball over to Sesselmann standing in the left side of the goal box.
Spartan goalkeeper Stacy Heller started to run out of the net in an attempt to stuff Sesselmann, but the junior's shot was too much to handle, as she knocked in the game winner.
The goal was Sesselmann's fifth of the season and the 20th of her career. Only Sesselmann and Kent are members of the Boilermakers' 20-goal club.
Haxton, who had been winning headers all day at defensive midfield, could not have been in a better position when she headed in Shannon Bradbury's corner kick in the 43rd minute. The five-foot, nine-inch midfielder rose above the defensive pack and placed the ball perfectly past Heller, knotting the match at 1-1 entering halftime.
The goal was Haxton's second of the season; the assist was Bradbury's second of the year, as well.
Heller frustrated Purdue's attackers for almost the entire first period. The senior goalkeeper made three saves in the first 45 minutes, all off Sesselmann shots. Sesselmann's second shot on goal was tipped by Heller into the crossbar and eventually cleared out by the Michigan State defense, and her third shot, a header, was intercepted off the grass.
Heller also picked off several crosses within the goalbox.
Both teams had difficulty taking a shot in the opening moments of the match, but slowly began to give themselves better chances as the first period progressed. The Boilermakers' and Spartans' offenses were each presented with opportunities to score but neither squad converted until the 36th minute when Heather Reilly headed the ball past Purdue goalkeeper Lauren Mason from six-yards out.
Reilly's second goal of the season was assisted by Abby Shepherd and Erin Konheim.
Prior to Reilly's score, Mason came through with several clutch saves. Mason kept the contest scoreless after intercepting shots from Shepherd, Konheim and Adrienne Teado.
Much of the second half was a carbon copy of the first. Both teams were limited to few scoring opportunities, and the few chances that were given, were often derailed by excellent defensive work. Sharon Pagorek came through with a block of a Michelle Perun direct free kick, while Haxton continued to get a piece of the ball on all sides of the field.
For the 10th straight game the Boilermakers have held their opponents scoreless in the second half. Purdue last allowed a goal in the second period against Eastern Michigan on Aug. 31. The Boilermakers have outscored their opposition in the second half, 13-1.
The Boilermakers' next contest is Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich., for a 1 p.m. match against the Michigan Wolverines. Purdue returns home to the Varsity Soccer Complex on Friday, Oct. 17 for a 3 p.m. game against the Northwestern Wildcats. Senior Day festivites will take place next Sunday (Oct. 19) against the Fighting Illini of Illinois.