ST. PAUL, Minn. - Goals from Kellie Phillips and Mollie Kuramoto gave Purdue women's soccer a halftime lead it would not relinquish in a 2-1 victory at Minnesota Sunday afternoon that kept the Boilers alive in the Big Ten Tournament chase.
Phillips scored off an assist from Alex Hairston in the 13th minute, finding the back of the net for a fifth consecutive game to match the longest scoring streak in program history. The senior has scored all of her team-leading eight goals over the last seven games.
Kuramoto buried a rebound with seven seconds remaining in the first half to record her second goal of the season and first collegiate game-winner. With less than a minute remaining in the half, Purdue took its time setting up a corner kick from the southwest corner. Jordan Frick served the corner into the 18-yard box, where it hit off the head of a Minnesota defender and deflected off the crossbar. Another Minnesota player made a team save on Marta Lynch's ensuing follow up shot, but the rebound caromed to Kuramoto on the left side and she blasted it into the net.
The three standings points earned with the victory moved the Boilers (7-10-2, 4-5-1 Big Ten) into a three-way tie for seventh place, with Michigan and Ohio State, and the final Big Ten Tournament berth. Minnesota (7-9-2, 4-4-2 Big Ten) and Iowa will enter the final week of the regular season only one point ahead in a tie for fifth.
The final shot count was even at 15 apiece, but Purdue had a 11-5 edge in shots on goal. The Golden Gophers made the final 10 minutes more interesting when they got on the board in the 81st minute on a header goal off a corner kick from Taylor Uhl.
The Boilermakers snapped a four-game losing streak in the series and defeated Minnesota in St. Paul for the first time since 2005.
Phillips floated a shot over the head of UM goalkeeper Cat Parkhill for her 20th career goal. Hairston connected a long pass to her teammate along the left flank and Phillips took advantage of Parkhill being off her line, scoring into the top half of the net from about 20 yards out. The senior is the seventh player in program history to reach the 20 career goals benchmark.
Loredana Riverso also scored in five consecutive games for Purdue in November 2007. Coincidentally, three of those five games were also played at Minnesota's Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium during the Boilers' run to the Big Ten Tournament title.
Purdue's back four of Brookley Rogers, Alexis Tryba, Frick and Lynch went the distance together and Kuramoto also played all 90 minutes. Laura McCalla logged 52 minutes to lead the reserves. Lynch was honored with the team's game ball after the game.
The Boilermakers play at Penn State Friday at 7 p.m. for the regular-season finale for both teams. The Nittany Lions clinched their 14th consecutive Big Ten title Sunday. Other games key to determining the Big Ten Tournament field includes: Nebraska at Minnesota (Friday), Iowa at Wisconsin (Saturday), Michigan at Illinois (Saturday) and Indiana at Ohio State (Sunday).