WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Three overtime losses coupled with a 1-7 record away from Folk Field were big parts of a snakebitten 2016 campaign for Purdue women's soccer.
The Boilermakers were much more competitive than their 4-12-1 record would suggest. But in a season in which goal scoring was at times scarce, Purdue ultimately could not overcome the loss of three-year goal scoring leader Maddy Williams to an April knee injury and fellow senior forward Hannah Leinert missing the final five and half games due to injury as well.
All three overtime losses as well as a 2-2 draw with Indiana were games in which Purdue held the lead in the second half. The Boilermakers did rally to defeat Cincinnati in overtime, but they were otherwise 0-8-1 when the opposition scored first. The five overtime games were Purdue's most since 2012 (six). Technically, the three overtime losses was a program high. In 2005, the Boilermakers lost twice in overtime during the regular season and then dropped a shootout against UW-Milwaukee after a scoreless draw in the NCAA Tournament.
Despite scoring just 15 goals in its 17 official regular-season games, Purdue was very competitive down the stretch. With the exception of a 4-1 home loss to Ohio State, the Boilermakers battled throughout the month of October. They scored first in an overtime loss at No. 24 Rutgers, out shot No. 16 Penn State in a 1-0 loss in Central Pennsylvania, beat Maryland and took both Indiana and Michigan State to overtime.
The draw with Indiana allowed Purdue to maintain possession of the Golden Boot traveling trophy because IU had to win it back. Andrea Petrina registered a Purdue record 12 shots in the draw. She also served in a large percentage of the record 18 corner kicks her team generated in the 110-minute affair. She had 11 more shots in the season finale with Michigan State, scoring a goal in both games.
The Boilermakers opened Big Ten play with a win for the first time since 2008, posting the first victory by the road team in the longstanding Purdue-Illinois series that dates back to 1998. The Boilermakers had not tasted victory in Champaign since defeating DePaul and Western Michigan at the Illinois Soccer Stadium in the first two rounds of the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
But Purdue did not win again until Dannah Williams' first collegiate goal was the difference in a 1-0 victory vs. Maryland nearly a month later. Williams joins Gianna Milaro, Vanessa Korolas and Maddy Duncan as Boilermakers to score their first collegiate goals in Big Ten play this year. Multiple players had not accomplished that feat in the same season since 2009. Williams' goal was significant because it marked the first time since the 2011 season opener that a player's first collegiate goal was the different in a 1-0 Purdue victory.
The Big Ten Conference sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament this year. Purdue played six of them as well as tournament qualifiers West Virginia, Dayton and Utah during the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Boilermakers led Utah 1-0 in the 61st minute when the game was stopped and later canceled due to thunderstorms. Ten more minutes of action would have made it an official game. It was another example of misfortune, with the storms likely costing Purdue a quality win against a team that went to reach the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Boilermakers' 15 goals in the 17 games that counted this fall stands as a program low. The 2014 team scored 19 goals in 19 games. Petrina's four goals were the fewest by the team's scoring leader since 2004.
Junior Vanessa Korolas and sophomore Hannah Mussallem were the only players that started every game. Both demonstrated their versatility by playing multiple positions throughout the year. Korolas improved significantly as the season progressed and she was provided the freedom to open up her game after being primarily an outside back as an underclassman. She opened the scoring in the games vs. Wisconsin and Rutgers.
Defensively, goalkeepers Jordan Ginther and Erika Yohn both made saves on penalty kicks this year to limit the opposition to a 1-for-4 showing on penalties. Ginther made a save on a PK among her career-high 11 saves in the overtime loss at Rutgers. It was the most saves by a Boilermaker since 2008. Yohn made a career-high nine saves at No. 4 West Virginia in a return trip to her hometown. Senior Megan Kaser played every minute of the Big Ten season at center back.
Mikayla Lasky scored the golden goal in the overtime win vs. Cincinnati, lifting Purdue to an OT win for the fifth year in a row, but the first at home since 2012.
The Boilermakers will have to bid adieu to a large 12-player senior class, but are scheduled to return seven players that started each of the final four games this year. Maddy Williams is also on track to be back for the 2017 campaign.
BIG TEN SPORTSMANSHIP HONOREE
Aug. 28 -- Purdue rallies to defeat Cincinnati in overtime on Lasky's golden goal
Sept. 15 -- Purdue opens Big Ten play with its first-ever win vs. Illini in Champaign
Oct. 13 -- Dannah Williams scores her first collegiate goal in 1-0 win vs. Maryland
MORE GAMES OF NOTE
Aug. 21 -- Montana 2, Purdue 1 (OT)
Sept. 9 -- Purdue led Utah 1-0 when game was called in 61st minute due to T-storms, lightning
Oct. 6 -- Rutgers 2, Purdue 1 (OT)
Oct. 16 -- Purdue out shoots PSU for first time since 2007 in its first-ever game against a defending national champion
Oct. 22 -- Purdue retains Golden Boot trophy via 2-2 draw with rival Indiana
Oct. 26 -- Michigan State 2, Purdue 1 (OT)
NSCAA ALL-NORTH/CENTRAL REGION SCHOLAR
ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN (3.0+ GPA)
GAMES AGAINST NCAA TOURNAMENT QUALIFIERS (9 GAMES)
West Virginia (National Runner-up)