Nov. 3, 2002
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 13 Purdue women's soccer team clinched the third-place Big Ten regular season finish on Sunday with a 3-2 loss against the Illinois Fighting Illini in Champaign. With the loss, the Old Gold and Black falls to 12-4-2 (6-3-1 Big Ten). With their win the Illini improve to 8-10-1 (4-6-0 Big Ten) and do qualify for the 2002 Big Ten Tournament in East Lansing next weekend, knocking out their travel partner Iowa.
Despite the disappointing loss for the Boilermakers, they finish the regular season with the best record in program history, a top-15 national ranking for four-straight weeks and the highest Conference finish in program history at third.
"Today was disappointing," said Purdue head coach Robert Klatte. "Right now, I'm concerned with our performance and how we're responding to others' play. Fact of the matter is, we put ourselves in a position to win that game today. But, we didn't solve some of the problems that they presented as a team and they posed threats that they were able to convert on in our small minutes of error.
"I think they pretty much dominated the middle of the playing field with the headers and second balls, but we did what we needed to do for most of the game. We outshot them overall and with shots on goal; if we'd been able to finish some of those chances in the first half, it wouldn't have come down to the tie at the end. Illinois wanted it more. They were more driven and competitive. They were playing for their lives and they just gained themselves a game on Thursday."
The Old Gold and Black was able to dominate the shooting game in the first half, tallying 13 shots and 10 shots on goal to the Illini's seven shots and four shots on goal. The Boilermakers were so dominating, they did not allow an Illinois to shoot a quality shot on goal until the 34th minute.
The Boilermakers made good on their shot frenzy in the 32nd minute, when freshman Shannon Bradbury scored her first career goal on a rebound shot that bounced off a keeper save. Taking the first shot to draw out the Illinois goalkeeper was freshman Jayme-Lee Biamonte`.
The Illini turned downfield and started their own attack on the Old Gold and Black, making good on a goal that was crossed into the box and settled in the middle for the score at 40:18. Credited with the goal was Paula Faherty with her third goal of the season. Tallying the assists were Tara Hurless and Natasha Karniski.
Purdue fought hard and came up with a couple more shots before the half, but the score remained knotted at 1-1 for the halftime break.
The second half started with a quick bang, as the Old Gold and Black put a second goal in behind the Illini keeper to take the lead, 2-1. Senior Elise Berry tallied her first goal of the year with a header flick into the far side corner of the goal on a corner kick from senior Jessica Baumhoff. Baumhoff received credit for her fifth assist of the year at the 46:10 mark.
The Boilermakers did not remain in the lead for long, however, as the Illini tied the game again at 2-2 in the 50th minute on a throw in from Tiffani Walker that deflected to Tara Schuling for her third goal of the year.
After the second goal was scored by Illinois, the physicality of the game increased immensely and the fouls totaled 12-10, Purdue.
The game continued in the drizzling rain and looked as if it would go into overtime. However, the Illinois defense sent the ball deep into Purdue territory with about one minute left to play. A fight for the ball came close to the end line and was ruled that the last touch was off a Purdue player. Illinois received the corner kick and sent the ball in off the set piece.
Meghan Kolze put the ball into the upper left corner of the goal, just out of reach of senior goalkeeper Jocelyn Cavalier with only 28 seconds left on the clock for the game-winner. It was her fifth goal of the year and Hollie Schurr was credited with the assist off the corner.
In the goal, senior Jocelyn Cavalier played 90 minutes, allowing three goals and making seven saves. Her record falls to 12-3-2 and her goals-against average sits at 0.77.
The Boilermakers will return to the field on Thursday, Nov. 7, at noon EST in East Lansing, as they take the No. 3 seed in the 2002 Big Ten Tournament. The Old Gold and Black will take on the No. 6-seeded Hoosiers of Indiana. The winner of the Purdue-Indiana game on Thursday will then advance to the semi-final game at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and will take on the winner of Michigan-Ohio State.