IU women’s soccer had a tall task in front of them Saturday night.
The Hoosiers had to limit an explosive Purdue offense that leads the Big Ten in goals this season. IU was able to neutralize Purdue’s top two goal scorers and grind out a 1-1 draw.
“Our defensive effort today was absolutely phenomenal,” IU Coach Amy Berbary said. “I thought it was one of our best performances from front to back that we’ve had all year.”
The Hoosiers were the ones to strike first. In the 25th minute, sophomore defender Meghan Scott sent a corner kick to junior forward Mykayla Brown, whose header hit off the crossbar and fell to freshman defender Hanna Nemeth.
Nemeth worked the ball to junior forward Maya Piper, who gave IU the early lead.
Piper’s goal was her fifth of the season, tying with sophomore midfielder Chandra Davidson for the most on the IU team.
The rest of the first half saw IU hold a 5-2 shot advantage and limit the explosive Boilermakers to just one shot on goal. IU's gameplan of limiting the amount of possession Purdue had worked as the Hoosiers entered halftime with a 1-0 lead.
“We pride ourselves on being a good, hard defensive team,” Berbary said. "I thought we struggled a bit in the first half, being a bit more dangerous in front of the goal, but we just held in tight and was dangerous one v. one. We covered for each other.”
Purdue didn’t allow the early IU success to hinder its attack. The Boilermakers were going to make sure that IU wouldn’t break their 11-game scoring streak.
In the 64th minute, Purdue struck back. Senior forward Maddy Williams set up freshman forward Sarah Griffith perfectly behind the IU defense, allowing Griffith to find the back of the net to tie the score.
After the goal, IU struggled with finishing the opportunities that came its way.
For the second straight year, the meeting between IU and Purdue went to overtime.
In overtime, neither team found its footing. Purdue senior midfielder Andrea Petrina attempted a pair of shots, but neither of them were threatening to the IU defense. IU only attempted a single shot in the second overtime after Davidson had a look off a corner kick, but it went high just above the goal.
“I think we were really solid defensively, we had a lot of players that had great games, taking players on one v. one and defending one v. one and catching them offside a lot,” Piper said. “We did a really great job but unfortunately they had a great shot but I think we did the best we could.”
Purdue was able to retain the Golden Boot for another year after winning back the trophy back in 2015. IU will be back at home next Thursday night against Northwestern at 8 p.m. in its next conference match.
“Walking out of here with the draw is good,” Berbary said. “I think if we continue to put together performances like this, we can play with anyone in our league.”
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