Oct. 16, 2013
All-Time Series vs. Michigan State: Purdue leads 8-6-1
All-Time Series in East Lansing: Tied 4-4
Last Meeting: Michigan State 2, Purdue 1 - OT (2012 in East Lansing)
Purdue's Last Win: Purdue 2, Michigan State 0 (2008 in West Lafayette)
Purdue's Last Win in East Lansing: #8 Purdue 2, Michigan State 0 (2007)
All-Time Series vs. Michigan: Michigan leads 8-3-3
All-Time Series in Ann Arbor: Michigan leads 5-0-2
Last Meeting: #21 Michigan 2, Purdue 0 (2012 in Ann Arbor)
Purdue's Last Win: #18 Purdue 1, Michigan 0 (2009 in West Lafayette)
Purdue's Last Result in Ann Arbor: #8 Purdue 0, Michigan 0 (2007)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue women's soccer kicks off the second half of Big Ten play with its first two-game road trip to the state of Michigan since 2007, taking on both the Spartans and Wolverines this weekend.
Friday's game against Michigan State (7-5-2, 1-5-0 Big Ten) at the DeMartin Soccer Stadium in East Lansing is set for 4 p.m. The Boilermakers (8-5-1, 3-3-0 Big Ten) visit Ann Arbor for Sunday's 3 p.m. game with No. 12 Michigan (10-2-1, 4-1-1 Big Ten) that will be the nightcap of a U-M soccer doubleheader. The Michigan men's team hosts Wisconsin at noon Sunday in game one at the U-M Soccer Stadium.
Purdue also played at both Michigan State and Michigan last season, but the games were part of two different road trips to the Great Lakes State. The Boilermakers will be in search of their first win in East Lansing since 2007 and their first-ever victory of any kind in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines lead the all-time series in 5-0-2 at the U-M Soccer Stadium and Purdue lost its only Big Ten Tournament game there in 2005.
Michigan is now the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the NSCAA Top 25 after posting its first-ever win at Penn State Sunday. The Wolverines are also the only Big Ten team to defeat league-leader Nebraska. Michigan has earned 12 of its 13 standings points on the road thanks to victories at Iowa and Michigan State as well. That comes on the heels of U-M dropping its lone nonconference road game, Sept. 15 Butler. The Wolverines played Wisconsin to a scoreless draw and lost to Minnesota, 1-0, in their only home weekend of the Big Ten season so far.
Michigan State has a 3-0 win against Minnesota but has been outscored 9-2 in its five conference losses. Purdue can relate somewhat. The Boilermakers are the owners of a trio of 1-0 victories in Big Ten play, but have been outscored in 13-2 in their three losses against conference rivals. The Spartans entered Big Ten play as one of three undefeated teams around the league after posting a 6-0-2 nonconference mark.
Alex Hairston (2011) and Jordan Pawlik (2012) have both scored goals against MSU during their careers, but each came in a 2-1 loss. Hairston accounted for a second-half equalizer in the 2011 Big Ten opener before the Spartans went ahead again in the 81st minute. Pawlik opened the scoring in East Lansing in last year's Big Ten opener, but MSU went on to equalize late in the first half and win in overtime.
Purdue (31) enters the weekend having scored more goals than Michigan State (23) and Michigan (25). However, MSU and Michigan have each had 12 different players score goals this year, while eight Boilers have found the back of the net. Maddy Williams saw her six-game point streak snapped Friday in the loss to Nebraska as Purdue was shutout for the first time this season. She remains one goal and two assists shy of the Purdue freshman records.
Macomb, Mich., native Taylor Niewoit returns to her home state this weekend. As a Perrysburg, Ohio, native growing up in the Toledo area, Williams will be playing relatively close to home Sunday in Ann Arbor.
Michigan State goalkeepers Courtney Clem and Gabrielle Garuder have done their part, helping MSU rank second in the Big Ten in saves (76) entering the week. Both players have recorded a double-figure save outing this year. Mary-Kat Fiebernitz leads the team with five goals, scoring on five of her eight shots on goal. The Spartans have scored 15 of their 23 goals in the second half.
Michigan has surrendered a Big Ten-low eight goals entering the week, including only four in their eight home games. The Wolverines are the only Big Ten team that has yet to allow multiple goals in a game this year; both of their losses were in 1-0 fashion. Nkem Ezurike leads the way offensively with seven goals and seven assists, making her the only player in the league this week ranked among the top five in goals, assists and points. The Canadian had a hat trick against the Boilers in 2011. Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin (0.53 GAA) and defender Shelina Zadorsky (six assists) also have prominent ties to Canadian National Teams.
The Boilermakers close out their home schedule next week with games against Indiana (Oct. 24) and Minnesota (Oct. 27).