Nov. 3, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Home night games for the first time at the Varsity Soccer Complex and a resilient midseason stretch that kept the Boilers alive in the Big Ten Tournament chase until the final day of the regular season highlighted the 2011 campaign for Purdue women's soccer.
The highlight of the season was undoubtedly an 8-2 blowout win against rival Indiana Oct. 13 at the VSC. The Boilermakers (7-11-2, 4-6-1 Big Ten) tied a single-game program record for goals while extending their unbeaten streak against IU to 15 consecutive games (12-0-3). Highlighted by a hat trick from senior Kellie Phillips, the win allowed Purdue to retain possession of the Golden Boot, a traveling trophy that has not left West Lafayette since it was introduced to the series since in 2002.
It was Phillips who provided the scoring punch during a midseason surge that saw Purdue post a 4-3-1 record from Sept. 25 through Oct. 23. The Boilermakers posted wins against Northwestern, Ohio State, Indiana and Minnesota during that stretch. Despite starting the conference season 0-2-1 and earning only seven of a possible 18 standings points at home during Big Ten play, Purdue was the last team officially eliminated from Big Ten Tournament contention.
The Boilermakers failed to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 1999. Purdue had qualified for nine consecutive tournament from 2000-08, compiling the third longest active streak (behind Penn State and Illinois) in the league in the process. The tournament was not contested in 2009 and 2010.
Phillips scored all of her team-leading eight goals over the course of seven games from Sept. 30 through Oct. 23. She tied a school record with a goal in five consecutive games and posted only the third hat trick in program history in the Indiana victory. The senior finished her career with 20 goals and 20 assists, becoming only the second player in Purdue history to join the 20-20 club.
The Sept. 30 win at Northwestern marked the beginning of Phillips' scoring surge as well as a defensive change on the back row. Marta Lynch and Alexis Tryba took over as the starting center backs that night in Evanston and the team began to enjoy a stretch of better results from that juncture going forward. The Boilermakers posted their eighth consecutive victory against Northwestern that night, a streak that stands as the longest victorious run against any one opponent in team history. The active 15-game unbeaten streak against Indiana is also a program long.
With additional depth on the roster this fall, only four Boilers started all 20 games: Jordan Frick, Alex Hairston, Brookley Rogers and goalkeeper Clara Kridler. Hairston scored six goals in her freshman campaign, accounting for the game-winner in the season-opening victory at Toledo and the lone goal in the win against Colorado in the first-ever home night game at the Varsity Soccer Complex on Sept. 2. She also joined Katie Leinert as the only players in program history to account for Purdue's first two goals of Big Ten play. She was the first Boiler to score in her Big Ten debut since 2007.
Rogers led the team in minutes played for the second year in a row. The defender went the distance in 18 of the 20 games and finished her career having started 54 consecutive matches. Rogers and classmate Lauren Montenegro, a four-year starter, both never missed a game during their four-year careers.
Kridler provided consistency at the goalkeeper position in her first year as the starter. She finished the regular season ranked second in the Big Ten in saves (91), finishing six shy of the Purdue single-season record.
Frick was a constant at outside back all season. She setup four goals, primarily with corner kicks, and scored her first collegiate goal in the draw with Cal State Northridge. Fellow sophomores Mollie Kuramoto and Hadley Stuart also scored their first goals as Boilers this season.
Kuramoto led the team with five assists. She also scored the first goal in the Indiana victory and the game-winner at Minnesota. Purdue snapped a four-game losing streak in the series with its first victory against the Gophers in St. Paul since 2005.
Stuart scored twice in a 4-0 win against Indiana State on a rainy night at the VSC in mid-September. Chinyelu Asher and Phillips would also record multi-goal games this season. Multi-assist efforts were posted by Laura McCalla, Frick and Kuramoto. McCalla setup both goals, scored by Phillips and Kaitlyn Blacha, in a key home win against Ohio State, Oct. 9.
Purdue will have to bid adieu to eight seniors, but is slated to return eight starters and 22 players for the 2012 campaign, a season which will be played at a fully-renovated Varsity Soccer Complex.
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award
CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performers
Laura McCalla, Oct. 10
Boilermaker Challenge Cup All-Tournament
Distinguished Big Ten Scholars (3.7+ GPA)
Mollie Kuramoto (4.0)
Academic All-Big Ten