Oct. 13, 2002
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women's soccer team fell today, 2-1, for the first time of 2002 on their home field to the Michigan State Spartans. With the loss, the Boilermakers fall to 9-3-1 (4-2-1 Big Ten) and have their three-game win streak broken, along with their home win streak of six games. The Spartans improve to 10-4-0 (5-3-0 Big Ten) and snap their own two-game Big Ten losing streak.
"Today was heart-wrenching," said Purdue head coach Robert Klatte. "You spend about 65 minutes of the game trying to peg your way back into it and you give yourself a chance, you think you're organized and then with a minute left in the game, they get a great free kick over our wall to end it.
"As a coaching staff, we asked a lot of the team this past week, both with three games in one week and also with the caliber of competition that those three games brought us. Over the weekend, I knew it was going to be challenging and I think you could see that. We had both some physical and mental fatigue coming into today's game, but we did have a lot of heart also. I have a lot of respect for the team and what they were able to do today. Despite being down, they fought hard and we put ourselves in a position where we could win, but it just wasn't to be.
"Kudos to Michigan State for the win. They were organized; they were dangerous and they took chances. We had to open ourselves up in the second half to try to get that goal back and they had some even better chances. Jocelyn came up huge on several saves, but that's just the way soccer is - especially in the Big Ten."
The Old Gold and Black began the game a bit on their heels, as Michigan State came out with much more energy than the Boilermakers. The ball possession was fairly even during the first 15 minutes of play, but the Spartans turned it up a notch and were able to score their first goal in the 21st minute when Abby Shepherd knocked in a shot from the left top of the goal box, about 25 yards out. Her kick went flying in and was just out of reach of the Purdue keeper, Jocelyn Cavalier.
The Boilermakers found themselves in a situation that they are not really accustomed to, especially on their home field, as the Spartans took the lead, 1-0. Purdue fought back, tallying two corner kicks in the first half and giving MSU keeper Stacy Heller her only save of the game on a hard shot from sophomore forward Lauren Sesselmann. However, despite the Purdue attack at the end of the half, the Spartans still held the lead at the half.
In the second half, Michigan State came out with a much renewed force after having rested for 15 minutes. But, the Boilermakers also came out strong and their defense was determined to hold tight while the offense did their job.
Purdue's front line of Sesselmann, juniors Annette Kent, Jennie Moppert, Emily Whetter and Lindsay Haag and freshman Lisa Perez all traded time at the top of the circle, as Coach Klatte used his bench to the fullest, attempting to keep fresh legs in the game for that tying score.
Purdue continued its push against the MSU defense and thought they finally broke through in the 66th minute when Moppert received a pass inside the six-yard box and put it right past Heller. However, she was whistled for offsides and the goal was called back.
Purdue's hard work finally paid off and Moppert was able to get her goal into the back of the net in the 84th minute when a long pass came up the sideline to Kent who tracked it down in the near right corner. She crossed the ball into Moppert who was waiting and Moppert went one-on-one with Heller for the score, her fifth of the year. Kent was credited with her third assist of the season.
The tide turned for the Boilermakers only four minutes later, however, when the Spartans gained control of the ball and headed down field. A Purdue defender went for the ball, but ended up making too much contact with the MSU player and was yellow carded. Michigan State was awarded a free kick just inches away from the top of the 18-yard box.
On the free kick at 88:20, the Boilermakers built a four-man wall, but Spartan Andi Sied sent the ball sailing into the box and it went just over the reach of Cavalier for the Spartans' second goal of the game and the game-winner.
Despite their disappointing loss, the Boilermakers fought hard and battled the whole way through. They beat the Spartans in just about every stats category, including headers, second balls and shots (13-10).
In the goal, senior Jocelyn Cavalier tallied five saves and allowed two goals in 90 minutes of play. Those two goals were, however, only her third and fourth goals allowed in Big Ten games. Her goals-against average falls to 0.67 overall and 0.55 in the Conference.
"... What we're going to do is plug forward, look for a high placing in the Big Ten to get into the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Tournament and those are still our realistic goals. Our challenge now is how do we deal with defeat. We've got to come back and we have a tough road trip this weekend on Friday and Sunday, going to llinois and Iowa," said Klatte.
The Boilermakers will return to the field on Friday, Oct. 18, when they travel to Champaign, Ill., to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini at 7 p.m. EST/CDT at Illini Field. The night game will be the Boilermakers' second game under the lights this season. Then on Sunday, Oct. 20, Purdue will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. EST/CDT.
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