IU women’s soccer defeated Purdue 1-0 in West Lafayette to pick up its second Big Ten win of the season and second win in the Hoosiers’ last 12 games.
For the third consecutive season, the Golden Boot Trophy will make its home in Bloomington.
“It meant everything,” IU Coach Amy Berbary said. “It’s tough for this team to focus knowing there’s a clear end to the season but, knowing how much this rivalry means to this University, I think they did a good job of focusing on that and getting the job done.”
The game-winning goal came in the 49th minute by sophomore midfielder Veronica Ellis off an assist from senior midfielder Abby Smith.
Smith found space in the middle of the field just outside the 18-yard box and sent a pass to Ellis.
Ellis created space and sent a shot on goal that deflected off the top of the Purdue goalie’s gloves, off the bottom of the cross bar and into the goal.
The score was the fifth career goal for Ellis, all five game-winners.
“I was proud of Vee for getting that half chance,” Berbary said. “It was a good look for her, getting the game winner for us again. She’s a clutch player.”
IU junior goalkeeper Sarah Stone had what was, perhaps, her best game of her season, making nine saves to preserve the win.
Stone was tested on a pair of late Purdue corner kicks but managed to punch the ball away on both occasions. In the 79th minute, she made a leaping save on a shot attempt seemingly destined for the upper 90 of the goal.
“She came up huge for us,” Berbary said.
The win improves IU’s all-time record against Purdue to 4-12-3.
It’s only the third time IU has captured the Golden Boot.
The win came in what was an emotional week for IU with the news of an injury suffered by former IU standout Lisa Nouanesengsy.
The Portsmouth (Ohio) Daily Times reported Friday that Nouanesengsy suffered “extensive burns to her hands and legs” in an apartment fire at Nouanesengsy’s Shawnee State University residence.
Nouanesengsy was a second team All-Big Ten selection as a senior for IU last season. She finished her career third in goals scored and fifth in all-time points in program history.
IU (6-11-1, 2-9-1) dedicated Saturday’s game to ?Nouanesengsy.
The IU women’s soccer Twitter account tweeted a picture of the team wearing bands with “LN7” written in marker prior to Saturday night’s game.
“Not many people associated with Indiana aren’t familiar with Lisa Nouanesengsy,” Berbary said. “She’s touched so many people, and (she’s) been a huge part of our program. She’s one of the best players to ever put on an Indiana jersey.
“I think our kids knew she was a big integral part of the last two years of us capturing that Golden Boot, so I think it was only appropriate to rally around the tragedy and turn it into a positive and play that game for her.”