WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue women's soccer has the honor of being the first team of the 2012-13 school year to open Big Ten Conference play, traveling to East Lansing for Sunday's noon kickoff at Michigan State.
The Purdue-Michigan State game will be game one of a MSU soccer doubleheader Sunday at the DeMartin Soccer Complex. The Spartans' men's team hosts Marquette in the nightcap.
The Boilermakers (5-2-1) and the Spartans (6-1-1) are both coming off a Wednesday win against a Mid-American Conference opponent from the state of Michigan. Behind goals from Taylor Niewoit (a Michigan native) and Chinyelu Asher, Purdue defeated Central Michigan, 2-0, in the finale of a five-game homestand at the Varsity Soccer Complex. Michigan State was a 1-0 winner against Western Michigan Wednesday in East Lansing. Olivia Stander scored 64 seconds after kickoff and the early goal held up.
Meanwhile, Big Ten women's soccer action kicks off around the conference Friday evening in Evanston with Northwestern hosting Nebraska. The Big Ten Network will provide live television coverage of a women's soccer doubleheader Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. No. 11 Penn State hosts No. 13 Wisconsin at 1 p.m. followed by an Illinois-Iowa matchup from Champaign-Urbana. A live video webcast of the Purdue-Michigan State game will be available on BTN.com. Indiana-Michigan (Saturday in Ann Arbor) and Minnesota-Ohio State (Sunday in Columbus) are the other two games on the Big Ten schedule this weekend.
Purdue is 9-2-2 all-time in Big Ten openers. Michigan State's 2-1 victory last year at the Varsity Soccer Complex snapped the Boilers' eight-game (6-0-2) unbeaten streak in Big Ten openers dating back to 2001. The Sept. 16 date is the earliest Purdue has opened conference play since 2000 (Sept. 15).
The Boilermakers play six of their 11 Big Ten games on the road this season, including the first three. Next week the team heads west to Lincoln & Iowa City for games at Nebraska and Iowa. The Big Ten home opener is Purdue's next game at the Varsity Soccer Complex, Friday, Sept. 28 versus Northwestern.
The Boilermakers will be in search of their first win in East Lansing since 2007. Purdue lost at MSU, 2-0, in 2010. It was the Boilers' first defeat in East Lansing since 1999.
Purdue has scored multiple goals in fourth consecutive games, accomplishing the feat for the first time since November 2007.