The Purdue women's soccer team has made six appearances in the NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers earned their first bid in 2002 and have been left off the national bracket only twice since.
Even though Purdue has the youngest soccer program in the Big Ten, the Boilermakers' six trips to the NCAA tournament are tied for the fifth-most in the conference. Since Purdue made its first trip in 2002, only Penn State and Illinois have been in the field of 64 more times.
2002: South Bend, Ind.
The Boilermakers made their first NCAA tournament in 2002 and celebrated by advancing to the second round. After tying Eastern Illinois 1-1 through regulation and two overtimes, Purdue converted three penalty kick opportunities and saw the Panthers make only one. In the second round, the Boilermakers faced Notre Dame on its home field. The Fighting Irish avenged a 3-1 Purdue victory on the same field earlier in the season by ending the Boilermakers' season by the same 3-1 margin.
2003: Champaign, Ill., and Chapel Hill, N.C.
Purdue wasted no time getting back to the NCAA tournament, and used the 2002 experience to advance farther in 2003 than any other team in program history. The 2003 tournament began in Champaign, Ill., where the Boilermakers jumped out to a 2-0 lead and held on to defeat DePaul 2-1. In the second round, Purdue faced a Western Michigan team that had disposed of Illinois in the first round. The Boilermakers trailed twice in the final 30 minutes, but both times fought back to tie the game before eventually winning 3-2. That victory sent Purdue to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament for the only time in program history. The Boilermakers traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C., where they fell to the undefeated and eventual national champion Tar Heels 7-0.
2005: Milwaukee, Wis.
After a one-year hiatus, Purdue returned to the NCAA tournament in 2005. The Boilermakers were sent to Milwaukee, Wis., where they met up with Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The game took place at Marquette's Valley Fields and saw the teams battle to a scoreless tie, which sent the game to penalty kicks. Both teams successfully converted their first four penalty kicks before matching misses in the fifth round continued the competition. Two rounds later, a Boilermaker attempt at the right corner was saved and Purdue was left on the short end of a 6-5 shootout score.
2006: Milwaukee, Wis.
The Boilermakers made another trip to the NCAA tournament following the 2006 season. That year, Purdue found itself back at Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wis., but this time the opponent was Marquette on its home turf. The Golden Eagles notched a goal in the 31st minute and held the Boilermakers scoreless on eight shots to take a 1-0 victory and advance to the second round.
2007: West Lafayette, Ind.
The 2007 season saw the NCAA tournament come to West Lafayette for the first time. The Boilermakers opened against Oakland and left no doubt that the home team would be playing in front its crowd in the second round. After a scoreless first half, Purdue found the back of the net in the 48th minute. While one goal would prove to be all the Boilermakers needed, they added three more in a six-minute stretch late in the second half and prevailed 4-0. The second round matchup was with rival Indiana, which had been defeated 7-0 by the Boilermakers on the same field just 16 days before. The Hoosiers again were shutout but managed to keep Purdue off the scoreboard as well and advance the game to penalty kicks. In the tiebreaker, the two teams alternated makes and misses through the first two rounds before each team converted in the third and fourth rounds. In the fifth round, Indiana took a 4-3 lead and Purdue could not even the score and saw its NCAA journey end in the second round.
2009: South Bend, Ind.
In 2009, Purdue once again found itself in the national bracket. The Boilermakers were sent to South Bend, Ind., and matched up with Central Michigan in the first round. The Chippewas came into the tournament on a 17-match unbeaten streak and having recorded an NCAA-high 18 shutouts. Purdue controlled possession for much of the first half and put multiple scares on goal, leading 10-4 in shots after the first 45 minutes, but a corner kick found its way into the back of the net with just 13 seconds remaining before halftime to give Central Michigan a 1-0 lead. The Chippewas converted a penalty kick in the 55th minute and then hunkered down to take a 2-0 win and advance to the second round.