Feb. 20, 2008
By Lindsay Jacki with additional reporting by Chris MacalusoBig Ten Network ~ Free Purdue Boilermakers Video
Purdue sports information office
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermakers get their first look at live competition this Saturday, playing host to Dayton and Loyola-Chicago as part of an indoor tripleheader at the Mollenkopf Athletic Center. Matches begin at 11 a.m.
Dayton closed out its 2007 season with a 13-4-4 record and a 6-2-3 finish in the Atlantic 10 Conference, which was good for fifth place. The Flyers advanced to the A-10 Tournament semifinals, where they lost to Fordham, 4-3, on penalty kicks.
Dayton, like Purdue, enters 2008 missing a large bulk of senior talent from last year's squad, but Boilermaker head coach Rob Klatte still believes the Flyers will present the Boilermakers with a legitimate challenge.
"I think Dayton had some major injuries right at the end of the regular season, which may have prevented them from getting into the tournament." Klatte said. "Getting halfway through October, I really thought they were at a point where they could have been a lock for the NCAA."
The Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago are returning NCAA qualifiers. LUC placed second in the Horizon League but earned its automatic bid after knocking off Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 3-2, in penalty kicks.
Loyola-Chicago went on to lose to a powerful side from Notre Dame in the first round and ended 2007 with a respectable 14-9-1 win-loss record.
"We played Loyola-Chicago two years ago and they posed us some problems then and I'm sure they will again this weekend," Klatte said. "When I was setting up the schedule, I was trying to find two mid-major teams with a NCAA pedigree that have some experienced and talented players. These clubs will pose us some problems defensively and at the same time hopefully put enough pressure on us that things aren't as easy for us offensively."
Each match is slated to last 80 minutes with two 40-minute halves. Klatte originally expected each Boilermaker to play anywhere from 75 to 80 minutes, but because of recent injuries it's looking as if they'll be out there twice as long.
Since the Boilermakers have suffered more bumps and bruises than they hoped for, they'll be recruiting some of last year's seniors to pick up some minutes. Kalie Grambeau, Addie Moppert and Amber Henkle are among the veterans who've been invited to return. Klatte believes that they'll all play at a wide position.
With a lot of up-and-coming talent on both sides of the ball, Klatte hopes to run through as many players as he can in the 11 a.m. match with Loyola-Chicago, and then start his ideal first team in the 5 p.m. contest with Dayton.
Co-captain Jessica Okoroafo said its time for the team to start looking towards these future leaders to pull them through the spring schedule.
"We are starting to really look towards the freshman to step up," said Okoroafo. "It's starting to be their time. They are playing well and look to have a lot more confidence."
Dayton and Loyola-Chicago will play in the second match of Saturday's tripleheader at Mollenkopf. Admission to all three games is free. Parking is available off Northwestern Avenue in the F Lot.
Assistant Coach Laura Kane To Join FC Indiana
Laura Kane's last day as a Purdue assistant coach was on Tuesday. She recently announced to the team that she's decided to put her coaching career on hold and pursue one as a professional player for FC Indiana of the W-League.
Comprised of semi-professional athletes, the W-League is considered to be the top level of women's soccer in the United States.
Kane said she decided to return to the playing field after realizing she's a better player now than she was in college with West Virginia.
"I've been playing a lot of soccer with the FC Indiana men's team over the last few months and I noticed that I'm better now than in college," she said. "I wanted to play now because I didn't want to wonder, `what if?'
"The women's professional league is coming back next year, and I knew that if I didn't play this summer, then maybe I'd never play. If it doesn't work I can always play in Europe or continue coaching."
Kane hopes that if she has a good year with FC Indiana, she'll be taken in September's draft for the Women's Professional Soccer League. The WPSL will begin playing games in April of 2009.
This year's FC Indiana roster also includes former Boilermaker Lauren Sesselmann, Notre Dame's Christie Shaner and DePaul's Julianne Sitch, who will be Kane's roommates.
The team, which plans to split its home matches between Indianapolis' Kuntz Stadium and Purdue's Varsity Soccer Complex, will face the Boilermakers at Mollenkopf on March 20 at 7:30 p.m.
For more information on FC Indiana, please visit FCIndiana.com.
Robison and Bilecky Agree To Play For Aland
Boilermakers Rebecca Robison and Kira Bilecky will be joining Finland's Aland United Soccer Club in the near future. They are the second and third Purdue graduates to be part of a Scandavian football outfit, joining Annette Kent who formerly played for the Swedish Club Balinge.
Aland United is based on the Aland Islands, which are located in between Sweden and Finland in the Gulf of Bothnia.
Aland United is 1-0-1 since starting its 2008 season on Feb. 16.