Regular-Season Series History
All-Time: Purdue leads 3-1
Last Meeting: Purdue 2, ISU 0 (2008 in West Lafayette)
Last Meeting in Normal: ISU 3, Purdue 1 (1998)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue women's soccer's first game action of the season comes in the form of an exhibition game Friday afternoon at Illinois State, a match that should serve as a quality preseason tune up against an opponent that won the Missouri Valley Conference last season.
Kickoff at Adelaide Street Field in Normal, Ill., is set for 5 p.m. ET. The Boilermakers are visiting Bloomington-Normal for the first time since their inaugural 1998 season. Purdue has not played at a MVC opponent since defeating Indiana State in Terre Haute in October 2004.
Sophomore Holly Gregory, a Bloomington, Ill., native, returns home Friday. She is one of five Illinois products on the Boilers' 2014 roster. Kate Fowee (Wheaton), Jordan Ginther (Sugar Grove), Gianna Milaro (Berwyn) and Christa Szalach (Naperville) all hail from the Chicagoland area. Purdue returns to the Land of Lincoln in mid-September for its Northwestern-Illinois weekend road trip.
The Boilermakers' home exhibition game against Louisville last season was their first official preseason friendly since 2005. Exhibition games count against a team's allotted 20-game schedule even though the results aren't part of the regular-season overall record.
Maddy Williams provided a glimpse of things to come by scoring in the third minute vs. Louisville, but the Cardinals equalized in the final of minute of the first half and went on to win in overtime. Louisville went on to finish second in the American Athletic Conference, earning an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and drawing Illinois State in the first round. The Redbirds won in a shootout at U of L to advance before losing at Michigan in the second round.
A number of Purdue's eight freshmen should get their first taste of game action at the college level Friday. Head coach Robert Klatte said last week freshman Erika Yohn and Ginther were in the midst of a strong competition for starting goalkeeper duties. Canadian newcomers Vanessa Korolas and Andrea Petrina could also make an early impact this season.
Illinois State is the likely preseason favorite in the Missouri Valley again this year after welcoming back three-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Rachel Tejada as well as 2013 MVC Freshman of the Year Hannah Leinert, whose sister Katie played in 79 games for Purdue as a four-year letter-winner from 2008-11. The Redbirds lost their exhibition opener at Notre Dame Monday, 4-0. Two-year starting defender Gabbi McArtor and Leinert (16 goals in 2013) were both held out due to injury and aren't expected to play Friday.
Tejada enters her senior season having scored 54 career goals for the Redbirds, recording at least 15 in each of her first three seasons while leading ISU to a combined 40-18-3 record and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Last season, the Redbirds compiled their 14-7-1 record thanks in part to a perfect 8-0 mark against conference rivals. They outscored their MVC rivals 26-3. But ISU also played a number of the same opponents as Purdue, including Miami (Ohio), Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, IPFW and Michigan. The Boilermakers went 3-4 versus those opponents in 2013 while ISU compiled a 2-5 record.
Coincidentally, while Purdue will play 13 of its 19 regular-season games against conference rivals this year, only six of the Redbirds' 18 regular-season dates are conference contests. The Missouri Valley Conference is currently comprised of 10 universities, but three (Bradley, Southern Illinois and Wichita State) don't sponsor women's soccer.
Receive Purdue Soccer news via email. Sign up HERE.