Oct. 23, 2013
All-Time Series vs. Indiana: Purdue leads 12-2-3
All-Time Series in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 7-0-1
Last Meeting: Indiana 3, Purdue 0 (2012 in Bloomington)
Last Meeting in West Lafayette: Purdue 8, Indiana 2 (2011)
All-Time Series vs. Minnesota: Tied 8-8
All-Time Series in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 4-3
Last Meeting: Minnesota 5, Purdue 1 (2012 in West Lafayette)
Purdue's Last Win: Purdue 2, Minnesota 1 (2011 in St. Paul)
Purdue's Last Win vs. UM in West Lafayette: #8 Purdue 3, Minnesota 1 (2007)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- For what sets up as essentially a make-or-break week for Purdue women's soccer if it's to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament, the Boilermakers host Indiana and Minnesota for the final two home games of the season.
Thursday's Golden Boot rivalry game with Indiana (11-4-1, 4-4-0 Big Ten, 12 points) is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex. Minnesota (9-5-2, 2-4-2 Big Ten, 8 points) visits West Lafayette for the second year in a row Sunday. The annual senior recognition day ceremony will precede the 1 p.m. kickoff. Seniors Shae Desmond, Jordan Frick, Clara Kridler, Jordan Pawlik and Hadley Stuart will be recognized for their contributions to the program. Together they've made a combined 195 starts.
Purdue (8-7-1, 3-5-0 Big Ten, 9 points) enters the week in ninth place in the Big Ten standings, but only four points behind fourth-place Wisconsin (4-3-1, 13 points). Minnesota plays at Wisconsin Thursday evening before traveling to West Lafayette.
The Boilermakers have the advantage of playing each of their final three games against teams that are also right in the thick of the Big Ten Tournament chase, meaning Purdue controls its own destiny. Wins against Indiana, Minnesota and Iowa (3-4-1, 10 points) over the next 10 days would not only elevate the Boilers in the standings, but also hold back all three opponents from moving up.
Purdue needs to maximize its opportunities at home this week first. A loss to Indiana would guarantee that the Boilers could not overtake their biggest rival in the standings this year. Minnesota is desperate for standings points after entering the week in 10th place and facing a tough game at Wisconsin Thursday. Meanwhile, Purdue would like to avoid having to win at Iowa next week to have a chance at making the eight-team Big Ten Tournament. Entering their games against Ohio State and Penn State this week, the Hawkeyes are 6-1 at home and are the only Big Ten team that has not been shut out.
Thursday has been selected as Purdue's annual special jerseys game. The team will wear pink uniforms this season in recognition of breast cancer awareness. Jerseys will be available via silent auction during the game and general donations will also be accepted. All proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Fans who donate Thursday will receive $1 admission for Sunday's home finale.
Thursday's game has also been designated as the team's Boilermaker Blackout, social media night and the faculty/staff appreciation game. All Purdue students attending Thursday's game are encouraged to wear black. Purdue faculty and staff will receive special $1 admission. Fans supporting the Boilers on social media are encouraged to use the following hashtags: #BoilerBlackout, #GoldenBoot, #BeatIU and #BoilerUp. There will be a few Nike and Purdue giveaways associated with fans using those hashtags.
The Pitch Protectors, the Purdue soccer support group, will be hosting a pregame tailgate at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Boilermaker Soccer Complex parking lot. The pregame festivities will include complimentary pizza and soft drinks as well as games and prizes. The Boilermaker Special will serve as a free shuttle for students from the west entrance of the Co-Rec to the Soccer Complex from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and back to the heart of campus after the game.
The Golden Boot traveling trophy was introduced to the Indiana-Purdue women's soccer rivalry in 2002. Purdue has a 12-2-3 all-time record against the Hoosiers but lost possession of the Golden Boot for the first time last year when its 15-game unbeaten streak against IU was snapped with a 3-0 loss in Bloomington. Indiana will bring the trophy to campus Thursday and it would remain in West Lafayette if Purdue wins.
The Boilermakers are 7-0-1 all-time against the Hoosiers at home. Illinois is the only other Big Ten team that has never won at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex. Purdue tied a program record with eight goals against Indiana in the 2011 win in West Lafayette. Current Boilers Chinyelu Asher (twice), Mollie Kuramoto and Stuart all scored in the rainy victory.
As the only Big Ten program under the guidance of a new head coach (Amy Berbary) this year, Indiana went 7-0-1 in nonconference play, surrendering just two goals in those eight games. The Hoosiers' defense has not been as strong in conference play, but the offense picked up the slack in 3-2 wins against Illinois and Michigan State. Overtime wins against Northwestern and MSU also helped IU's cause as it looks to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2007.
Indiana goalkeeper Shannon Flower and center back Lara Ross were both high school teammates of Kridler's at Upper Arlington in suburban Columbus. Flower is one of only two only Big Ten goalkeepers that have played every minute this season.
Minnesota also had a very successful nonconference run, compiling a 7-1 record. But as has also been the case with the Boilers, scoring has not come as easy in conference play. The Gophers scored 18 goals in their eight nonconference games, but only four in Big Ten play entering the week. Purdue had 26 goals in nonconference play, and only six so far vs. Big Ten rivals.
Oddly, Minnesota has 1-0 wins against the top two ranked teams in the conference -- Michigan and Penn State. But the Gophers have also been shut out by both Michigan State and Northwestern, the teams currently at the bottom of the standings.
Minnesota was dealt a tough blow over the winter when Taylor Uhl, the 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the nation's top goal scorer (21) a year ago, opted to transfer to Stanford. Uhl had a hat trick in the Gophers' 5-1 victory in West Lafayette last season and leads the eighth-ranked Cardinal with 10 goals this year. Meanwhile, 10 different players have scored for Minnesota in 2013 and Katie Thyken's five goals are tops on the team.
Big Ten Tournament Contenders -- Games Remaining
Nebraska, Michigan & Penn State have already clinched berths
Wisconsin (4-3-1, 13 Points)
Indiana (4-4-0, 12 Points)
Ohio State (3-3-2, 11 Points)
Illinois (3-4-1, 10 Points)
vs. Michigan State
Iowa (3-4-1, 10 Points)
vs. Penn State
vs. Ohio State
Purdue (3-5-0, 9 Points)
Minnesota (2-4-2, 8 Points)
Michigan State (2-6-0, 6 Points)
vs. Penn State