Oct. 20, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Hadley Stuart opened the scoring to give Purdue women's soccer an early lead, but No. 12 Michigan responded with the next three goals to defeat the Boilermakers, 3-1, Sunday afternoon.
Purdue (8-7-1, 3-5-0 Big Ten, 9 points) dropped its third straight game but remains very much alive in the Big Ten Tournament chase with three games to play. Each of the final three games -- at home next week against Indiana (12 points) and Minnesota (8) as well as at Iowa (10) Nov. 2 -- are against teams also fighting to qualify for the eight-team tournament field.
Michigan's Nkem Ezurike scored her team's first two goals of the day, breaking the Wolverines' all-time record in the process. The senior has scored six of her 45 career goals against Purdue. The Canadian scored the equalizer on a penalty kick in the 35th minute. Her second goal proved to be the game-winner and was scored in the 61st minute. Christina Ordonez added an insurance goal in the 69th minute.
Stuart's sixth goal of the season and 13th career was scored with a well-placed shot inside the right post from the inside edge of the 18-yard box off an assist from Chinyelu Asher in the 24th minute. It was only the ninth goal surrendered by Michigan (12-2-1, 6-1-1 Big Ten) this season, the fewest in the Big Ten. The goal ended Purdue's scoring drought at 237 consecutive minutes dating back to the second half of the Oct. 6 win against Northwestern.
The Boilermakers successfully defended each of Michigan's 11 corner kicks, the first double-figure total surrendered this season. Goalkeeper Clara Kridler also made seven saves, including three high-quality stops in the first half to help keep the game tied going to the break.
Center back Kim Love was called for a foul on Ezurike while the ball was being served into the heart of the 18-yard box from the west sideline, leading to the penalty kick. It was the second PK opportunity for the opposition this weekend after Purdue had only one PK called against it in the first 14 games of the season. Kridler guessed correctly as Ezurike shot towards the left side of the net, but was unable to make the save.
In the 27th and 34th minutes, Kridler did successfully make diving saves on shots by Tori McCombs and Corinne Harris, respectively. She had a full extension diving save to her right to deny McCombs of a goal. The goalkeeper dove to her left to make the save on Harris' shot.
In the 38th minute, Kridler got her hand on a shot by Meghan Toohey, deflecting the ball off the crossbar to keep the game tied.
Makaela Nellams accounted for a team save on a shot by Harris seconds before Ezurike scored the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute. The rebound caromed to Ezurike, who finished the sequence with a shot into the left side of the net.
Ordonez scored with a flicked chip shot into the top right corner of the goal from a point-blank position near the right post.
Mollie Kuramoto, Mikayla Lasky, Love and Stuart went the distance among the Purdue field players. Melissa Casella only left the field briefly due to blood on her jersey in the second half. Nellams logged 75 minutes to lead the reserves, finishing the game out after being the first sub of the game.
Alex Hairston came off the bench for the first time in her Purdue career, ending her team-long consecutive games started streak at 54.
The Boilermakers return to action Thursday when they host Indiana at 7 p.m. It will be the annual Golden Boot rivalry game and Purdue will look to win back the traveling trophy after losing possession of it for the first time last year. Thursday's game has also been designated as the Boilermaker Blackout game (fans are encouraged to wear black), social media night and the Purdue faculty-staff appreciation game ($1 admission for Purdue employees).