WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.- For its annual special jerseys benefit game, Purdue women's soccer will be donning red, white and blue uniforms Sunday when it welcomes Ohio State to campus for a 1 p.m. kickoff at the Varsity Soccer Complex.
It will be military and ROTC appreciation day at the Varsity Soccer Complex Sunday. All military and ROTC members with valid identification will receive free admission. The Boilermakers (4-8-2, 1-3-1 Big Ten) will be wearing blue jerseys, white shorts and red socks. Money raised during the in-game silent auction for the red, white and blue uniforms will be donated to the American Legion.
Purdue also sported red, white and blue uniforms in 2007. That year's combination featured white jerseys, blue shorts and red socks. The annual special jerseys game has also seen the Boilers wear pink and yellow in years past.
The Buckeyes (8-4-1, 3-1-1 Big Ten) visit West Lafayette for the second year in a row. Last season, Purdue players donned special purple jerseys for their game against OSU, highlighting the need for the elimination of domestic violence.
All 12 teams around the Big Ten Conference have just one game this week. Wisconsin plays at Nebraska Friday to kick off the weekend. Three games are slated around the league for Saturday and Indiana hosts Penn State Sunday at 11 a.m. before Purdue and OSU close out the conference schedule. The final weekend of the regular season, Oct. 28-30, is also comprised of only one game for each team.
Sunday's game marks the beginning of a three-game homestand for the Boilers that will feature the home finale on Oct. 16. After playing each of their first three Big Ten games at home, Purdue and Indiana both close the regular season with three consecutive road games. With IU visiting West Lafayette next week (Thursday, Oct. 13), the Boilers have the advantage of playing six of their 11 conference games at home this year.
Kellie Phillips and Alex Hairston scored the goals that lifted Purdue to its 150 all-time victory last weekend at Northwestern. It was also the Boilers' eighth-consecutive win against the Wildcats. That represents the longest winning streak in program history against any one opponent. Previously, Purdue had won seven consecutive games against Big Ten rivals Indiana (2000-04), Minnesota (2001-07) and Ohio State (2005-08).
Hairston's game-winner last Friday in Evanston was her team-leading sixth goal of the season. She's on pace to become the seventh freshman in the program's 14 seasons to lead the team in goals. Hairston's six goals are also the most by a Purdue freshman since Jessica Okoroafo established the program's first-year player record with 10 in 2005.
Meanwhile defensively, the Boilers mixed up the alignment of their back four for the first time this season. Marta Lynch and Alexis Tryba took over as the center backs while Brookley Rogers moved to the right flank. Only Jordan Frick remained at her left black position. All four players went the distance in the games at Northwestern and Illinois. Lynch represents the 17th Purdue player that has received an opportunity to start this year.
Ohio State has only scored two more goals than the Boilers (17 vs. 15) but has recorded four more victories thanks to an ability to maintain possession, which in turn has helped the Buckeyes surrendered only 11 goals. While giving up the second fewest goals in the league, OSU goalkeepers (primarily Katie Baumgardner) have accounted for a Big Ten-low 33 saves.
Seven different Buckeyes have scored goals this year. Tiffany Cameron leads the way with five scores and six other players have registered two goals each. Jessica Warren, Paige Maxwell and Cameron were the goal scorers in OSU's 2-1 victory in West Lafayette last season. Ohio State equalized early in the second half and won the game in the 87th minute on Cameron's header off a throw in.
The Buckeyes have posted their Big Ten wins against Illinois, Northwestern and Wisconsin. Among common nonconference opponents, they won at West Virginia and also lost at Missouri.