WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -– The ninth-ranked Purdue women’s soccer team lost 1-0 to Minnesota on Sunday afternoon at the Varsity Soccer Complex in West Lafayette.
“We got beat by a better team today,” head coach Robert Klatte said. “They were more determined than we were. As a staff, as a program and as a team, I think that’s the disappointing part. There was a team here that certainly came out with a greater intensity than we had, and with greater focus and determination, and I think that’s what separated the sides today. They have a great team. They are a good, technical team. They’re dynamic going forward, but we failed to solve their defensive pressure.”
Minnesota (10-2-2, 3-0-1) struck in the 23rd minute with the game’s only goal. Tamara Strahota headed the ball to Molly Rouse, who was alone on the left side of the goal. Rouse squared up and fired a shot into the back of the net from seven yards out to give the Golden Gophers the winning tally.
Purdue (7-3-3, 2-1-2) had a chance to knot the game with one minute remaining in the first half. Sophomore Alexis Tryba knocked a corner kick from the right side to freshman Marta Lynch. Lynch spun past her defender and let a shot rip toward the net. The ball, which was on a line to the goal, was headed away by a Minnesota defender. The Boilermakers trailed at halftime for just the second time this season.
Purdue was able to get a few chances late in the second half, but could not find that elusive tying goal. Minnesota was able to control possession for most of the game and keep the Boilermakers bottled up when they did get the ball, halting many offensive attacks. Senior co-captain Jenny Bradfisch made five saves in goal for the Boilermakers.
Purdue lost at home for the first time this season, halting the longest home unbeaten streak to start a season in program history. The Boilermakers entered Sunday 4-0-2 at the Varsity Soccer Complex and had tied the 2002 and 2004 teams for the best home start by a Purdue team. The Boilermakers, who entered the day second in the Big Ten with 25 goals scored this season, were shut out for the first time in 2009.
Minnesota leaped over Purdue for first place in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers, who entered the day atop the conference standings with eight points, are now in fourth behind the Golden Gophers’ 10 points and the nine points owned by Ohio State and Penn State, who both won Sunday.
Purdue now leads the all-time series with Minnesota 7-6. The last three games in the series, all Golden Gopher wins, have been decided by the same 1-0 score. This marks just the third time in program history, after a five-game stretch in the series with Indiana and a four-game stretch in the series with Wisconsin, Purdue has had three consecutive games with one opponent end 1-0.
“We adapted late in the game,” Klatte said. “We started to create a little bit more and cause them a few more problems, but it wasn’t enough. We still failed to get in behind them with any clear-cut opportunities. I think our best opportunity fell to Marta in the first half when they got the headed clearance off the line. But, we didn’t have that consistent determination about getting it done today.”
Purdue returns to action Thursday when it hosts Michigan. Kickoff from the Varsity Soccer Complex is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. Live results and a live radio broadcast can be found at PurdueSports.com.