Oct. 3, 2013
All-Time Series with Illinois: Illinois leads 10-5-3
All-Time Series in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 4-0-3
Last Meeting: Purdue 1, Illinois 1 (2012 in West Lafayette)
Last Purdue Win: #12 Purdue 1, Illinois 0 (2009 in West Lafayette)
All-Time Series with Northwestern: Purdue leads 12-3
All-Time Series in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 6-1
Current Series Streak: Purdue has won nine straight
Last Meeting: Purdue 1, Northwestern 0 (2012 in West Lafayette)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue women's soccer plays five of its seven games at home in the month of October, beginning this weekend with Illinois and Northwestern visiting the Boilermaker Soccer Complex.
Friday's matchup with Illinois (6-3-2, 1-1-1 Big Ten) will be the fifth home night game of the season and kick off at 7 p.m. The Big Network will provide live television coverage of Sunday's game with Northwestern (2-7-2, 0-3-0 Big Ten), which has a special late afternoon start time of 4:30 p.m. The BTN's Sunday soccer tripleheader will also include live coverage of an Ohio State-Wisconsin women's game and Penn State-Indiana men's action.
The new-look Boilermaker Soccer Complex will make its live TV debut Sunday. A free postgame youth clinic hosted by Purdue players and coaches is also set for Sunday. The clinic signup will be held during the game with all youth receiving free admission to the game against Northwestern.
The Boilermakers (6-4-1, 1-2-0 Big Ten) put a pair of streaks on the line this weekend against their conference rivals from the Land of Lincoln. The visiting team has never won in the Purdue-Illinois series, with the Boilers holding a 4-0-3 edge vs. the Illini in West Lafayette. Purdue's current nine-game win streak against Northwestern dates back to 2005 and is the longest such streak against any opponent in program history.
Illinois (33 goals) and Purdue (29 goals) are both ranked among the Top 15 nationally in goals per game and are two-three behind No. 7 Penn State among the Big Ten leaders. The Boilermakers (26) and Fighting Illini (23) have also surrendered the most goals in the league. So Friday night's game could feature a bevy of offense. There have already been 35 goals scored in the seven games at the Boilermaker Complex this season. Purdue has scored 22 of its 29 goals at home.
Northwestern enters the weekend as the only Big Ten team yet to win on the road this season. However, NU nearly beat preseason favorite Penn State in Central Pennsylvania on the opening Friday of the conference season, holding the lead for more than 75 minutes in a game it lost, 3-2, in double overtime. The Wildcats play at Indiana Friday.
Purdue and Illinois have both scored in every game this season. The Boilermakers' 11-game scoring streak is tied for the fifth longest in program history. The offensive consistency of Alex Hairston and Maddy Williams has been a significant contributor to the 11-game streak. Hairston has scored in five of the last six games, and with her game-winning goal Sunday at Ohio State recorded a point (goal or assist) in a program-record seventh consecutive game.
Williams has registered a point in each of the last six games she has played. Her team-leading seven goals are third most by a Purdue freshman, trailing only Jessica Okoroafo (10, 2005) and Lauren Sesselmann (9, 2001). With six assists, Williams also has a good chance of eclipsing Kellie Phillips' freshman record (8) in that category as well.
Hairston has scored against both Northwestern (2011) and Illinois (2012) during her career. Taylor Niewoit had the game-winner in Purdue's 1-0 victory against the Wildcats last year.
Jannelle Flaws has enjoyed a breakout season for the Fighting Illini. After missing both the 2010 and 2012 seasons due to knee and leg injuries, she has flourished this year and accounted for 12 of Illinois' 33 goals. She shares the Big Ten lead with PSU's Maya Hayes entering the weekend. Senior Vanessa DiBernardo has long been considered the Illini's top player. She leads the team with six assists to go along with four goals. DiBernardo did not play in Sunday's home loss to Nebraska. Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley has started all 11 games.
Northwestern shut out a Dartmouth team that Purdue defeated 5-3. But the Wildcats have been blanked four times and scored multiple goals only three times in their 11 games entering the weekend. Kate Allen accounted for both goals in NU's impressive showing at Penn State, but her only other score of the season came on a penalty kick. Georgia Waddle, the daughter of former NFL player Tom Waddle, has accounted for the game-winner in each of Northwestern's two victories. Freshman Jenna Hascher has taken over as the starting goalkeeper and compiled a respectable 0.96 goals against average. She made a season-high 11 saves at Penn State to help NU keep the lead as long as it did.