#9 Purdue Hosts Minnesota

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Junior Katie Becker faces her home-state team Sunday at the Varsity Soccer Complex.
Junior Katie Becker faces her home-state team Sunday at the Varsity Soccer Complex.

Oct. 9, 2009

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The ninth-ranked Purdue women's soccer team hosts Minnesota on Sunday in a matchup of the Big Ten's top-two teams.

"We have one of the hardest-working teams in the Big Ten coming to play us," head coach Robert Klatte said. "They are known to be a very hard-working and battling side. They take a blue-collar defensive approach to the game and add in a touch of creative flair going forward. They ask a lot of questions of your back line, similar to Michigan State. We are going to have to try to move the ball well, stretch the field and be able to take advantage of them playing only three in the back."

Purdue (7-2-3, 2-0-2) is alone on top of the Big Ten standings with eight points after remaining unbeaten through its first four conference games for the third consecutive season. The Boilermakers rank second in the Big Ten with 25 goals scored, and their plus-three goal differential in conference play is the best mark in the Big Ten.

The Boilermakers moved to ninth in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, marking their sixth consecutive week in the top 15 and second week this season in the top 10. Purdue's six-week stretch ties the 2007 team for the most consecutive weeks ranked in the top 15 during the regular season in program history.

Purdue was scheduled to play in-state rival Indiana on Thursday, but unplayable field conditions due to a tremendous amount of rain in the Bloomington area postponed that contest until Nov. 3. That postponement gives the Boilermakers their second-longest break between games this season. Purdue tied 20th-ranked Michigan State 1-1 last Sunday.

Minnesota (9-2-2, 2-0-1) returns to Big Ten play after dismantling South Dakota 9-0 on Sunday. The Golden Gophers are led offensively by junior Katie Bethke, who tied the school's single-game goals record with four scores Sunday and has Big Ten-leading totals of 11 goals and 26 points this season. Goalkeeper Cat Parkhill is tied for second in the conference with six shutouts. As a team, the Golden Gophers lead the Big Ten in shots, goals, assists and points.

Purdue holds a 7-5 edge in the all-time series with Minnesota. The Boilermakers lost the first three games in the series before running off seven consecutive victories. The Golden Gophers put an end to that streak in last season's 1-0 double overtime victory and also grabbed a 1-0 win in the Big Ten Tournament.

Sunday's game is slated for a 1 p.m. ET start. Live results and a live radio broadcast can be found at PurdueSports.com.