Aug. 28, 2012
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue women's soccer opens its six-game homestand with three games in five days, beginning the third-longest homestand in program history with a midweek matchup against Butler Wednesday.
The Boilermakers (2-1) also host Tennessee-Martin and Evansville Friday and Sunday of this weekend, respectively. The games Wednesday and Friday are set for 7 p.m. kickoffs. Sunday afternoon matinees at the Varsity Soccer Complex begin at 1 p.m.
Purdue will host Milwaukee, West Virginia and Central Michigan in the second half of the homestand, a three-games-in-six-days stretch that begins Sept. 7. After the completion of the homestand, the Boilers will begin the Big Ten Conference portion of their schedule.
Purdue's schedule has featured a homestand of at least four games in eight of the last nine seasons. The Boilermakers played eight consecutive games at the Varsity Soccer Complex in September 2011, but posted only a 2-4-2 record. Four of the eight games went to overtime, including overtime losses on consecutive Sundays.
However, Purdue's home pitch has been a tough place for opponents to win during those extended homestands in recent history. Dating back to 2004, the Boilers have compiled a combined record of 24-7-5 in their homestands of four games and longer. Purdue went 7-0 during its extended homestand of September 2007, and that stretch propelled the team onto its historic 20-win campaign.
The Boilermakers opened their new-look home facility with a strong showing during the season-opening weekend, posting wins against Toledo and Eastern Illinois. Purdue has managed to score multiple goals in each of its first three games this year, accomplishing the feat for the first time since 2009.
Butler (2-2) is coached by Purdue alumna Tari St. John, who was a member of the program from 1998-02. The first of her nine goals as a Boiler was coincidentally the game-winner in a September 1999 win at Butler. Now in her seventh year as the leader of the Bulldogs, she leads her team into its first season as a member of the Atlantic-10 Conference this season. So far Butler has posted shutout wins against IPFW (1-0) and Indiana State (3-1) but got shutout in its losses to Louisville (2-0) and Eastern Michigan (1-0).
Tennessee-Martin (1-2) is the lone first-time opponent on Purdue's 2012 schedule. The Skyhawks were picked as the favorites in the Ohio Valley Conference after winning the conference tournament last season to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. UT Martin scored six times in its last game, a neutral-site win against an overmatched Mississippi Valley State team Sunday in Starkville, Miss. The Skyhawks have played both Mississippi State and Vanderbilt tough early this season. They held a halftime lead in a 3-2 loss at MSU and out shot Vandy, 16-13, before giving up two late goals in a 2-0 season-opening loss.
Despite both calling the state of Indiana home, Purdue and Evansville (1-2) have only played twice before. The Purple Aces shut out Murray State, 2-0, Sunday to earn their first win of the season. Common opponent Central Michigan was also on UE's schedule. Evansville trailed 2-0 in the 30th minute when the game was cancelled due to lightning and thunderstorms. The Aces' senior goalkeeper, Chaviel Harrison, was recently named the Missouri Valley Conference Goalkeeper of the Week after helping UE shut out Murray State and breaking the program's all-time saves record two days earlier while making 10 saves in a loss to Saint Louis.