Game Notes: Week 11
Oct. 28, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue split their two matches last weekend against Ohio State and Penn State, beating the Buckeyes 3-0 before falling to the Nittany Lions 0-2. Penn State clinched at least a share of their 11th consecutive Big Ten crown with the win over the Boilermakers, but Purdue still has a lot to fight for. They face a tough Illinois squad on Friday in front of a national TV audience on the Big Ten Network and will be battling for position in the Big Ten Tournament beginning in two weeks.
SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS
Quick Take: Purdue gave up two goals to Penn State last Sunday, the first time the Boilermakers have given up more than one goal since a 0-2 loss at Miami on Sept. 10 and only the third time this season. It was not all doom and gloom, however. Purdue controlled the first half against Penn State and even outshot the Nittany Lions 8-4 in the opening stanza. The Boilermakers also might have found an answer at the third forward position in freshman Katie Leinert. Since her first career start at Iowa (Oct. 12), Purdue has scored six goals on a .500 shots on goal percentage. Leinert has yet to score a goal this year, but has seemingly opened up the Purdue attack.
Key Players: Junior Loredana Riverso is tied for fourth in the Big Ten in points (21) and goals (8). She also has five assists on the year. Freshman Kellie Phillips is currently tied for fourth in the conference with eight assists. She has four goals for 16 points this season, as well. Senior Felicia Schroeder is also a threat, talling 16 points on seven goals and two assists. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jenny Bradfisch continues her stellar play, as well. Bradfisch ranks fifth in the Big Ten in goals against average (0.83), second in save percentage (.837), first in saves (77), fourth in saves per game (4.05) and tied for fifth in shutouts (4).
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING ILLINI
Quick Take: Illinois won their first match since Oct. 5 with a 2-0 win over Ohio State last Sunday. Before that, they had been handed four straight shutouts in four straight losses, including a 0-2 loss to Penn State last Friday. The Fighting Illini know where their heart is, however, with a 7-1-0 record at home compared to a 2-7-0 record on the road. Purdue has never beaten Illinois in Champaign.
Key Players: Junior Chichi Nweke paces the Fighting Illini attack with 15 points on six goals and three assists. Seniors Marti Desjarlais and Emily Zurrer each have three goals on the season. Sophomore Laura Knutson leads the team in assists with five. In goal for Illinois will be junior Alexandra Kapicka. Her 0.83 GAA is fourth in the Big Ten and her six shutouts is good for third.
All-time Series: Purdue snapped a two-match losing streak to Illinois last season, beating the Fighting Illini 2-1 during the regular season and 3-0 during the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois still leads the all-time series 7-4-2 and is undefeated against the Boilermakers through four matches at the Illinois Soccer Stadium.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT SCENARIOS
Purdue can only finish third or fourth in the Big Ten no matter what happens on Friday. If the Boilermakers win, they finish third. If they lose and Michigan State loses to Michigan, Purdue remains in third. There are only two scenarios that drop the Boilermakers to fourth: a Purdue tie and a Michigan State win or a Boilermaker loss and a Michigan State win. The bottom of the conference is much more jumbled, with six teams fighting for four spots. As a reminder, only the top eight teams in the Big Ten advance to tournament play and Iowa gets an automatic bid as the host school.
FROZEN IN TIME
The NSCAA/adidas top 25 stayed exactly the same this week, with no one moving a single position. Notre Dame is still the top ranked team at 18-0-0, with North Carolina, Portland, UCLA and Stanford rouding out the top 5, respectively. Purdue is the fifth team receiving votes, while Big Ten opponents Penn State (No. 21) and Minnesota (No. 25) are ranked and Illinois sits just outside.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jenny Bradfisch earned Goalkeeper of the Week honors from Soccer America on Oct. 6. Bradfisch chalked up four saves in 110 minutes of action in Purdue's 1-1 tie versus Michigan. Two days later, she tallied four more saves as the Boilermakers defeated Michigan State, 2-0. For the weekend, the Carmel, Ind. native posted a 0.45 GAA and a .889 save percentage.
HARD WORK REWARDED
Senior forward Felicia Schroeder was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week on Oct. 6. She posted her first two-goal match of the season against Michigan State, which was good for Purdue's only two goals of the contest. Her two tallies came on just three shots, all of which were on goal. Earlier in the weekend, she chalked up three shots versus Michigan. The two-goal effort versus the Spartans was good enough to move the Cincinnati native into Purdue's top-10 career goal scorers list.
Lauren Montenegro was honored as the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29. The freshman defensive midfielder played a major role in Purdue's back-to-back shutouts to start the Big Ten season. Against Northwestern, Montenegro played all 90 minutes and was part of a defense that limited the Wildcats to five shots, including just one on goal. At Wisconsin, the Diamond Bar, Calif. native chalked up an assist to go with 76 minutes of action. The Badgers were held scoreless on ten shots, including five shots on goal.
TOP DRAWER TALENT
Redshirt junior defensive back Sylvia Forbes was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week on Sept. 15. For Purdue's matches at Miami and versus Rhode Island and Morehead State, Forbes was an integral part of a defense that held their opponents to a .081 shot percentage. She played all 90 minutes in each of the three contests and tallied one shot on goal. This is her first season on defense for the Boilermakers, but the Whitby, Ontario native has quickly moved into a key role for a stout back line. As a forward the previous two seasons, Forbes registered 24 points on nine goals and six assists.
CHALLENGE CUP CHAMPS
On Sept. 14, Purdue won the Boilermaker Challenge Cup title for the fifth time in program history and the first time since 2004. The Boilermakers defeated Rhode Island, 3-1, and Morehead State, 3-0, on their way to the crown. Freshmen midfielders swept the tournament MVP awards when Kellie Phillips earned Offensive MVP honors and Lauren Montenegro won the Defensive MVP award. Also making the all-tournament team for Purdue were senior Felicia Schroeder, redshirt sophomore Katie Becker and sophomore Liz Secue.
KEEP AN EYE ON THIS ONE
Junior goalkeeper Jenny Bradfisch is the first player in Purdue soccer history to be named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List. Bradfisch is coming off a season that earned her All-Big Ten second team honors. She led the Big Ten with a 0.49 goals-against-average and was second with a .826 save percentage. She was also named to the NSCAA/adidas All-Great Lakes third team and to the Soccer Buzz Magazine All-Great Lakes Region second team. She won a program record 11 straight games from Sept. 5 to Oct. 7 and also set program highs in wins (20), goals-against average (0.49), minutes played (2200:17), matches started (25) and matches played (25). Bradfisch is one of 47 women on the list, which was chosen by Division I head coaches that are members of the NSCAA. The Hermann Trophy is presented by the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo. and is considered the highest individual honor in collegiate soccer.
Purdue was picked to finish third in the Big Ten this season by the conference coaches. Penn State and Illinois were picked to finish first and second, respectively. The Boilermakers finished second in the Big Ten for just the second time in program history last season, the first time being in 2005. Purdue is followed in the preseason predictions by Indiana, Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa.