The Purdue soccer team recorded a pair of wins to open its Big Ten season this weekend.
The series opened Friday night against University of Nebraska. The Huskers (2-5-2, 1-1-0 Big Ten) came into the game with a 7-3 record against the Boilermakers (6-2-1, 2-0-0 Big Ten). The teams’ previous matchups had all been relatively tight affairs. The widest margin of victory was a 4-0 Nebraska win in 2013, and all of Purdue’s victories had been decided by a single goal.
Friday’s match fit that format, according to a press release from Purdue Athletics. The Boilers won the match 1-0 off of a kick from freshman forward Leanna Rebimbas. Purdue outshot Nebraska as well, putting up four shots on goal to Nebraska’s lone attempt, but each team tallied eight overall shots.
In the 37th minute, Rebimbas and Nebraska’s goalie met at the top of the box to contest a loose ball. Rebimbas won the contest, took the ball and fired it into the back of the empty net. With the win, Purdue improved its record against the Huskers to 4-7.
Sunday afternoon, the Boilers took the field against the No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes. The Boilermakers entered the day as underdogs as Iowa (9-1-0, 1-1-0 Big Ten) was undefeated at 9-0-0 at that point.
In the second Big Ten matchup of the year, the black and gold started off the match by playing a lot of defense. Iowa attacked the Boilers quickly and aggressively, but it did not pay off for the Hawkeyes.
Purdue benefited from tough defensive play behind the leadership of sophomore defender Julia Ware. Ware and the Boiler defense held off the Hawkeye onslaught early in the half before the game changed gears.
Purdue sent the ball to the other half of the field and the offense took over. Freshman defender Sydney Sparks was able to capitalize off of a pass from Rebimbas. The goal ignited the team and gave it a 1-0 lead at the start of the second half.
The second half was all black and gold. The Boilers controlled the tempo and the ball for most of the half, causing the clock to keep ticking and shutting Iowa’s window to tie the game.
Both teams played aggressively, with Purdue receiving one yellow card in the first half and Iowa receiving a yellow card in the second half. Purdue senior forward Brady Riley received the card for an aggressive attack while Iowa’s senior forward Leah Moss received a yellow card for knocking down a player on defense.
Purdue is undefeated in Big Ten play so far and handed Iowa its first loss of the season.