Oct. 9, 2013
All-Time Series: Nebraska leads 3-2
All-Time Series in West Lafayette: Tied 1-1
Last Meeting: Purdue 2, Nebraska 1 - OT (2012 in Lincoln)
Last Meeting in West Lafayette: Nebraska 3, Purdue 0 (2011)
Last Win vs. Nebraska in West Lafayette: Purdue 2, #19 Nebraska 1 (2005)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- As Purdue women's soccer hosts conference co-leader No. 24 Nebraska for the finale of a three-game homestand, the top two freshman scorers in the Big Ten will both be on the field Friday at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and Friday's game has been designated international student/Latino community night. Fans will be permitted to use the adjacent practice field beginning at 6 p.m. and special $1 tickets are available for international students and the Latino community.
The Boilermakers (8-4-1, 3-2-0 Big Ten) are three points behind conference co-leaders Penn State and Nebraska (9-3-1, 4-1-0 Big Ten) in the standings entering the weekend. Every Big Ten has only one game on the schedule this week. The Huskers had their seven-game win streak snapped Sunday by No. 21 Michigan. It was their first home loss of the season.
Purdue's Maddy Williams (9 goals) and Nebraska's Jaycie Johnson (7) are the top two freshman goal scorers in the Big Ten this year and have each been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week at one point. Williams has scored in seven of the 12 games in which she has played this year, highlighted by game-winners in the 1-0 victories against Illinois and Northwestern last weekend. She became the first Boiler since Lauren Sesselmann in 2001 to record the game-winning goal in consecutive Big Ten games.
Like Williams, Johnson scored twice in her collegiate debut. She accounted for the lone goal in a Big Ten-opening win against Michigan State and also had the game-winner in an upset victory against No. 14 Denver on Sept. 22. The Kansas City-area native has been pretty quiet since and did not play in the Oct. 3 win against Iowa.
Purdue and Nebraska have split their first two meetings as Big Ten rivals, with the road team winning on each occasion. A hat trick by Nebraska's Morgan Marlborough, who's finishing out her college career at Santa Clara this fall, accounted for all the scoring in the 2011 game in West Lafayette. Taylor Niewoit was the hero in Purdue's overtime win in Lincoln last fall, scoring off a corner in the opening minute of double-OT.
Alex Hairston and Mayme Conroy also scored in last season's 2-1 final. Both players are once again among the top offensive players for their teams. With six goals, eight assists and 20 points, Hairston ranks among the Big Ten leaders in all three categories. She recorded her 20th career assist Sunday to move within two of Sesselmann's all-time record. Three of Conroy's five goals this season for the Huskers have been game-winners. She scored twice in a 3-2 road win at Illinois as Nebraska completed a sweep of its trip through the Land of Lincoln the weekend of Sept. 27-29.
The Boilermakers have yet to be shut out this season, joining Iowa as the only remaining Big Ten teams that can claim the feat. The Huskers have been blanked only once (at BYU Aug. 31) in their first 13 games.
Purdue has also excelled defensively during its first three-game Big Ten win streak since 2007. The Boilermakers' shutout streak of 283 consecutive scoreless minutes is the team's longest since October 2009.
Purdue will have its third chance this season at upsetting a nationally-ranked team. Nebraska joined the NSCAA Top 25 on Oct. 1 after posting its first two true road wins of the season with the weekend sweep of Northwestern and Illinois. The Boilermakers' last win against a nationally-ranked opponent was in August 2009 at No. 6 Texas A&M. However, Purdue defeated the 19th-ranked Huskers at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex in September 2005 for its first win in the series.