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Women's soccer fails to win golden boot


The IU women's soccer team celebrate an early goal in their season-opening game against Louisville on Sept. 24 at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Michael Williams and Michael Williams Buy Photos

With eight minutes remaining in regulation on Saturday night, IU was in desperate need of an equalizing goal against the Purdue Boilermakers.

The Hoosiers had seen their 1-0 lead erased by two second half goals from the Boilermakers, who were in position to win consecutive Golden Boot matches for the first time since 2011. However, IU sophomore forward Mykayla Brown had other ideas.

Brown raced in behind the Purdue backline and latched onto a through ball from senior midfielder Veronica Ellis. She put her shot past senior goalkeeper Jordan Ginther for her second goal of the match, tied the match at 2-2 and forced extra time.

However, IU, 7-7-4 and 4-3-3 in conference, was unable to take advantage as the match ended 2-2 against Purdue, 4-11-1 and 2-7-1 in conference, after extra time in West Lafayette, Indiana. As a result of the draw, the Golden Boot will be retained by Purdue since it won last year’s meeting in Bloomington.

“Purdue put together a good game plan tonight,” IU Coach Amy Berbary said. “We just had too many unforced errors.”

The ramifications of the draw extend beyond the Golden Boot trophy, because it also puts a dent in IU’s postseason hopes. IU is now in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Big Ten standings with Ohio State and Nebraska. All three teams have 15 points.

After tiebreakers are applied, IU sits eighth in the conference standings and occupies the final spot for the Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament.

IU could have clinched its postseason spot with a win Saturday and an Ohio State loss, although neither occurred.

Brown got the Hoosiers on the scoreboard first, though. She fought off two Boilermaker defenders to win the ball before finishing into the bottom right corner of the net in the 22nd minute.

“We sometimes have trouble in the first 15 minutes of games, so I wanted to be that energy for the team,” Brown said.

Despite taking the lead, it was IU freshman goalkeeper Sarah L’Hommedieu who was the more active of the two goalkeepers in the opening period. L’Hommedieu made two saves.

However, within one minute of the second half restart, Purdue found a way past L’Hommedieu.

Junior midfielder Andrea Petrina evaded two IU defenders before unleashing a rocket of a shot that sailed into the top left corner of the goal. The pressure from the Boilermakers only increased following the goal, with Petrina striking the post in the 58th minute.

L’Hommedieu was called upon to make four of her eight saves in the match during the second half. Berbary said she felt the saves were vital to the team.

“Sarah had three big time saves for us tonight,” Berbary said.

Purdue had 18 corner kicks during the match and finally converted on one for the go-ahead goal in the 78th minute. A deflected header fell to the feet of freshman forward Maddy Duncan, who swept the ball past L’Hommedieu.

After Brown scored her sixth goal of the season to force extra time, it seemed a winning goal was likely to come from the hosts. Despite outshooting IU 9-4 in extra time, Purdue failed to capitalize and claim the win.

“I’m proud of our effort after going behind,” Berbary said. “Mykayla was huge for us tonight. It’s the best game of her college career to date.”

While Brown is aware of the importance of the two goals she scored, she knows IU’s season now comes down to a Wednesday-night match in Bloomington against Michigan.

“It means a lot to be able to score twice tonight,” Brown said. “We definitely need a win on Wednesday. We need to bring the energy from the first part of tonight’s match into the Michigan game.”

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