Nov. 14, 2003
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - For a second straight season the Purdue Boilermakers' soccer team will be playing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers advanced after disposing of the DePaul Blue Demons, 2-1, Friday night at Illinois Soccer Stadium. Purdue goals were scored by seniors Courtney Coppedge and Jennie Moppert, while both assists were provided by Annette Kent.
Purdue drew first blood, scoring in the 11th minute off a Jayme-Lee Biamonte corner kick. Biamonte's kick sailed right to the goal box, where it first tipped off Kent before Coppedge headed it in for her eighth goal of the season. Coppedge's goal also served as the 20th of her career; she, Kent and Lauren Sesselmann are the only three members of the Boilermakers' 20-goal club.
Coppedge has had an absolute career year, in this, her final campaign as a Boilermaker. This year, the native of Florissant, Mo., has established season bests in goals (eight), assists (four) and points (20).
Moppert's insurance goal with 21 minutes left in the match came off another assist from Kent, who with that helper, set the Purdue record for most assists in a season with eight. The previous record of six was set in 2001 by Sesselmann.
Kent set up the goal by slotting the ball to Moppert on the left side. Moppert then utilized her speed to elude one DePaul defender and promptly blasted it past DePaul goalkeeper Lindsey Deason to make the score 2-0.
Moppert's 17th career goal came in her 80th career game, which is second all-time among Boilermaker players. Only Mary Masck and Kent have played more with 81. Today's match served as the 80th start for Masck, which is the most ever in Purdue soccer history. Defender Elise Berry (1999-2003) held the previous record of 79 starts.
DePaul converted on a corner kick in the 77th minute to cut into Purdue's lead and break the shutout. The kick, taken by Erin Davern, landed in a scrum of Blue Demon players, but Amber Prindle finally got a leg on it and punched it past a diving Lauren Mason.
The win boosted Purdue's record to 13-5-3, while Conference USA champion DePaul ended their 2003 campaign with a record of 14-7-2.
After the fifth minute of the match, Purdue's offense continuously pressured the DePaul defense. In the fifth minute, Coppedge launched two consecutive shots only to have both of them blocked, then a shot by Kent was saved by Deason. A minute after that first barrage, Kent was robbed twice by Deason. On her first attempt, Deason ran up in the penalty box and stole the ball of Kent's foot. Deason then made a diving save off Kent's second attempt, which was taken from a few yards back in the goal box.
Sesselmann also was victimized early by the DePaul defense. In the 16th minute, Sesselmann had one shot saved by Deason and another blocked by a Blue Demon defender.
After Purdue struck first, the DePaul offense began to press, coming very close to knotting the score at 1-1. Around the 15th minute, the Blue Demons caught Mason out of position but could not convert as Julianne Stich's blast just trickled to the left of the netting.
Stich just missed again minutes later when a cross from Colleen Aheard sailed an inch high over her head. Stich was positioned perfectly in the goal box to head one past Mason, but timed her leap a split second late.
DePaul gave themselves another solid opportunity to score in the 42nd minute, but Davern's free kick made a B-line right into Purdue's three-person defensive wall.
Mason had a great first half, making four saves while facing eight shots. Purdue completed the first half with ten shots; six of them were taken by Kent.
To start the second half Purdue broke out of its traditional 3-4-3 model and went to a 2-5-3 set, but despite having the extra midfielder, the Blue Demons attackers still gave themselves a number of good scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the half. DePaul also did a good job of keeping possession in their own end, which led to a number of shots - but Mason was able to come up with the big plays time and time again.
After a header by DePaul's Margo Sackmaster tailed left of the net, Mason made two clutch saves off shots taken by Lea Hill and Erin Walter. However, Mason biggest move of the second period was coming out of the box to punch out a corner kick taken by Davern. Mason, who made a career-best nine saves in the win, now owns a personal win-loss record of 12-4-3.
Purdue will face Western Michigan in the regional championship game Sunday at 3 p.m. The broadcast will be featured only on the Internet via www.purduesports.com. Andrew Staley and Mark Leddy will begin calling the action at 2:45 p.m.
The MAC champions advanced to the second round after stunning No. 9 and 16th seeded Illinois, 2-0, Friday night.