10/10/21 Minnesota, Team celebration

Senior goalkeeper Marisa Bova joins in for a team hug after senior forward Sarah Griffith scores the go-ahead goal with five minutes left in the game.

The Purdue women’s soccer team shot up six spots in the NCAA rankings to No. 19 after a recent string of high-profile wins.

The current slot is the Boilermakers’ (10-2-2, 5-1-0 Big Ten) highest spot in the national rankings since 2009, a Purdue press release said.

In their most recent 3-2 win over Minnesota (6-4-3, 2-4-0 Big Ten), the Boilermakers scored three second-half goals after getting down 0-2 to steal a win away from the struggling Gophers.

The Boilermakers now rank ahead of Big Ten rivals in No. 24 Wisconsin (7-3-4, 2-2-2 Big Ten) and No. 22 Michigan (9-2-3, 3-1-2 Big Ten).

“We played a tempo, we played a pace and we moved the ball quickly,” head coach Drew Roff said. “We had to send some numbers forward and take some chances, but it really paid off.”

In what could be their last years as Boilermakers, the team’s seniors continued to put themselves into the Boilermaker history books with numerous outstanding performances. Senior goalkeeper Marisa Bova’s 10 season wins is the ninth-most recorded by any Purdue goalkeeper, while senior forward Sarah Griffith’s six-game Big Ten scoring streak is the second longest in Purdue history, a Purdue press release said.

“Being Senior Day, I thought it was fitting that we had some tremendous performances from that group,” Roff said. “(Senior forward) Sydney Duarte really stood out to me as somebody who was able to win the ball for us, attack space on dribble and put Minnesota on their heels. She had a tremendous game for us and stepped up when we really needed her.”

A total of nine seniors were honored on Sunday, including Griffith, Bova, midfielder Ally Mussallem and forward Teagan Jones. The four have scored a combined 16 goals, 11 of which belong to Griffith.

With just four games left, Purdue will have to face three opponents who are either ranked, like Wisconsin, or within five spots of national recognition, like Penn State and Indiana. With two home games remaining, Purdue will face one of its toughest stretches yet as it looks to find a top seed in the Big Ten tournament and national championship bracket.

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