Sophomore defender Skylurr Patrick was named to the Big Ten women’s soccer all-tournament first team on Sunday. Eleven players who made a significant difference in the outcome of the games were picked from Big Ten teams that played in the 2019 tournament.
Patrick played a major role in the Boilers’ (8-9-3, 3-6-2 Big Ten) defensive line that shut out nine teams during exhibition and regular season. She was noticed at the tournament due to her pass that began the play leading to the game-winning goal against first-seed Wisconsin.
“With the help of my backline, we were able to shut out (the) Big Ten forward of the year and beat Wisconsin, who had many Big Ten honors,” Patrick said. “I was able to get an assist that started from the back line and we ended up scoring from a play I started.”
Patrick sent a long pass from behind the half to sophomore midfielder Ally Mussallem. Mussallem crossed the ball in front of the goal to senior midfielder Ena Sabanagic, who one-touched it into the net.
The play was inspired by the excitement that the Boilers felt to be present at the tournament. As the lowest seed, they felt they had a point to prove and nothing to lose.
“(We had) a fire inside of us to show everyone that Purdue is good. And what better way to do that than beat (the first) seed in Big Ten tournament, (which) didn’t lose a conference game,” Patrick said. “It could have been our last game. We just had to go out there and play with our hearts because Wisconsin probably doubted us, we were the (no. 8) seed and we won three (conference) games.”
Patrick recorded multiple blocked shots and passes that shut down the Badgers’ offense during the game. After shutting down play after play close to the end of the first half, she knew it was time to start a run for the Boilers.
“Wisconsin took out some key starters, so I knew that if it was still 0-0 that they were going to play that entire second half until they scored,” Patrick said. “I decided it was time to make something happen, we had a minute left, we needed something by the end of the half to secure the game.”
Patrick said she feels inspired by this honor and counts it as motivation to continue working hard.
“I feel pretty great about it,” she said. “It’s amazing to get noticed when there are so many players on the team that obviously deserve this. I feel like this will help me in my career, maybe just to keep me motivated to do everything I can.”
As Patrick continues her career at Purdue, she sees this attention as an opportunity not just for herself, but for the whole team.
“I believe that this is the start of honors for Purdue team,” she said. “I think we opened eyes beating Wisconsin and so many other players deserve to get honors that didn’t.”