The Purdue soccer team kicks off Big Ten play on Friday against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Boilers (4-2-1) have had a rough history against the Huskers (1-4-2) throughout the past decade.
Purdue has been only 3-7 against Nebraska in their last 10 meetings, including losing the last two games to the Huskers. The black and gold will be looking to change that this year, however.
For one, Purdue fares better at home, holding a 2-3 record against Nebraska at Folk Field vs. just 1-4 at away games.
A challenging schedule so far has also helped Purdue prepare for the game as they have faced No. 11 University of Kansas and No. 7 University of South Carolina already. The Boilers lost both games, but not without a fight. Purdue lost to Kansas 2-1 after holding the lead for most of the game, and although they lost to South Carolina 2-0, the Boilers had numerous shots on goal.
Nebraska has also faced talented teams so far this year, including No. 4 University of Southern California and No. 21 Baylor University. The team faced Kansas, like Purdue, in a game where the Jayhawks controlled the ball for a majority of the time and defeated the Huskers 4-0.
If history has anything to say, the matchup between Purdue and Nebraska will be a close game. This face-off also carries a lot of weight as it is the first conference game and will be the first step toward winning the division.
Each team will be extra eager to go out and earn a win in order to climb to the top of the conference.
Purdue has outshot opponents 99-58 so far this season, so Friday could be another shootout for the Boilermakers. Fans should keep an eye out for junior midfielder Hannah Melchiorre, who leads the black and gold with three goals.
Sophomore Sarah Griffith and freshman Leanna Rebimbas, both midfielders, have also been offensive weapons, each scoring two goals for the Boilers.
The Big Ten challenge begins at 7 p.m. Friday at Folk Field.