Aug 29, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- For the first of two home and away weekends this season, Purdue women's soccer welcomes first-time opponent Northern Illinois to campus Friday and travels to Lawrence, Kan., for the first time since 2008 for Sunday's game at Kansas.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday evening at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex. Sunday's game at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex gets underway at 2 p.m. ET.
The weekend of Sept. 13-15, Purdue (1-1) also plays at home on Friday evening (vs. IPFW) and on the road Sunday afternoon (at Miami University).
The Boilermakers opened their 2008 season with a 3-0 loss at Kansas. The Jayhawks (1-1) visited West Lafayette in September 2011 for the four-team Boilermaker Challenge Cup tournament, losing to Dayton and defeating Purdue, 1-0, in overtime. Eight active players for both Purdue and Kansas played in the 2011 meeting, including Chinyelu Asher, Shae Desmond, Jordan Frick, Alex Hairston, Clara Kridler, Mollie Kuramoto, Taylor Niewoit and Hadley Stuart for the Boilers.
Purdue scored eight goals during the season-opening weekend, the most it had ever scored in the first two games of a new season, but settled for a split after surrendering four goals Sunday against Xavier. Kuramoto joined Jessica Okoroafo (2009) and Hairston (2012) as the only players in program to score in each of the first two games of the year. Meanwhile, Maddy Williams joined Lauren Sesselmann, who currently plays professionally for FC Kansas City of the National Women's Soccer League, as the only Boilers to ever score twice in a season opener. Williams and Sesselmann are two of the seven players in program history to score in their first collegiate game.
Purdue managed to score early in its win against Akron, but it also trailed almost the entire game versus Xavier. Asher's goal 68 seconds after kickoff was the fastest ever in a season opener and the quickest scored overall since Kailtyn Blacha found the back of the 21 seconds into a Halloween 2010 home loss to Penn State. Xavier turned the tables on the Boilers Sunday and was up 2-0 just over five minutes into the game.
Head coach Robert Klatte said the starting goalkeeper position was up for grabs in practice this week after each of Purdue's three `keepers - Clara Kridler, Caitlyn McCullough and Jordan Ginter - saw action in both games of the season-opening weekend. Previously, the 2009 season marked the only time the Boilers had used three different goalkeepers in a game on two occasions, much less in back-to-back games.
Klatte said he was hopeful sophomore center back Kim Love could return to the lineup for Sunday's game at Kansas. After starting every game of 2012, she missed the season-opening weekend due to a minor knee ailment.
Northern Illinois (1-0) was idle on the season-opening Friday before opening its season with a 3-0 shutout win against Eastern Illinois Sunday in DeKalb. The Huskies also enjoyed a prolific offensive effort in a 4-3 exhibition win against Valparaiso Aug. 16.
A year ago, NIU scored more than one goal in a game only five times. But a strong defense kept the Huskies in most games and they finished the year having surrendered only 19 goals in 19 games. Starting goalkeeper Amy Carr (a native of England) and 2012 goals and assists leader Cori Frankenberg (4 goals, 4 assists) have both returned for their senior seasons.
Kansas plays on the road Friday and at home Sunday for the second weekend in a row, taking on Missouri State in Springfield Friday evening. Last weekend, the Jayhawks lost their season opener at Arkansas, 1-0, before rebounding with a 3-0 win against Pacific. The three players that scored for Kansas Sunday - Jamie Fletcher, Caroline Van Slambrouck and Caroline Kastor - are among the eight active Jayhawks that took the field against Purdue in 2011.
Kastor led the way with 11 goals last year. Ashley Williams is also back after scoring eight times as a freshman in 2012. Kaitlyn Stroud opened the season as the starting goalkeeper after splitting time as the starter last year.
The Boilermakers are heading west to play at a Big 12 opponent for the first time since an August 2011 loss at Missouri.