Oct. 12, 2003
ANN ARBOR, MICH. - Lauren Sesselmann's last second goal enabled the No. 17 Purdue Boilermakers to tie the Michigan Wolverines, 1-1, Sunday afternoon at the Michigan Soccer Field. The overtime match was Purdue's first of the season, but it was Michigan's sixth. In six overtime contests this season, Michigan has tied each and every time.
In one of the more dramatic moments in Purdue history, senior midfielder Krystal Pepper sent in a corner kick, which bounced right off Sesselmann's head and into the net. The game-tying goal occured with just 22 seconds left on the clock, and sent the Purdue bench into an absolute frenzy. The goal was the sixth this season for Sesselmann, and third in as many games. Sesselmann headed in the equalizer past Michigan keeper Megan Tuura from the right post.
The last second score extened Purdue's consecutive match scoring streak to 26. The Boilermakers have not been blanked since Sept. 29, 2002 when they fell, 1-0, at Penn State.
Pepper's assist was her second of the season.
The tie brought Purdue's overall record to 9-2-2, and its conference record to 4-1-1. Michigan's record currently stands at 3-5-6 and 2-2-4 in the Big Ten.
The Purdue offense started to click in the second period, but all of its initial attempts at securing the equalizer were derailed by Tuura, who came through with five saves. Two of her saves were made off kicks taken by senior forward Annette Kent.
Kent's first shot of the second period hit off Tuura's arm and bounced out of bounds off the goal post, setting up a corner kick from Shannon Bradbury. The midfielder lightly touched the ball to Kim Comisar, whose pass from outside the penalty box went to Haxton, who then headed it wide. Purdue was given another corner kick opportunity a few seconds later, but that shot also went wide.
With 15 minutes left in the match, the Boilermakers sent in a flurry of shots at Tuura, but the Wolverine keeper escaped unscathed. Within a span of a minute, Tuura and her defensive cohorts stopped two shots by Courtney Coppedge and one by Haxton.
Purdue goalkeeper Laura Mason also played tough in the second period, making two saves while allowing no goals. She completed the contest with six saves.
In the second overtime, the Michigan offense attempted to win the match with a hailstorm of shots directed towards Mason, but the entire Boilermaker squad made sure the Wolverines did not convert. Keeping the Boilermakers alive, was a clutch team save recorded by Jennie Moppert, who kicked it out of bounds. Kelly Haxton then cleared out a follow-up corner kick.
Mason helped herself with a brilliant diving save of a Katelin Spencer shot. Mason extended herself as far as she could to her right and caught the ball as she was coming down, thus preserving the 1-1 deadlock.
Michigan put itself on the board first in the 35th minute on a direct free kick by Lauran Tanchon. The kick, which was set up by a Purdue foul just outside the penalty box, wrapped perfectly around the Boilermakers' defensive wall and over Mason.
Much of the first half concentrated on the defensive play of both teams. Mason made a sweet save of a Tanchon shot 30 seconds into the game and less than 25 ticks later Michigan keeper Suzie Grech robbed a Comisar attempt.
Although Mason made only three saves in the opening frame, she made herself known consistently outside the goal box, stuffing a handful of attempts. Her bravest move came in the 28th minute when she ran out of the net to kick the ball away from Stephanie Chavez. The Maize and Blue forward had just broke through the Purdue defensive line, but Mason's steal kept Michigan off the board early in the match.
Purdue's defensive trio (Sharon Pagorek, Mary Masck, Jenny Kinkead) and midfielders Meghan Dybvig and Haxton also played an instrumental role on defense, clearing the ball out of the Michigan attack zone during the opening 45 minutes.
On offense, Comisar led the team with three shots in the first period, but two of them were saved by Greck. Purdue registered seven shots in the first half to Michigan's six.
For the game, Purdue outshot Michigan, 20-19. Kent led all players with six shots and three shots on goal.
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.
Both games will be aired live locally on WLAS 1410-AM and over the World Wide Web via www.purduesports.com. The broadcast team of Mark Leddy and Steve Hall start calling the action ten minutes prior to each game.