10/31/21 Ohio State, Nicole Kevdzija

Sophomore midfielder Nicole Kevdzija heads a corner attempt in an attempt to score the first goal of a game against Ohio State on Sunday in Folk Field.

On to the semifinals.

For the fans who packed into Folk Field, the weekend meant free hot dogs and playoff soccer. For the No. 2-seed Purdue soccer team, the weekend meant a chance to move on in the Big Ten tournament as well. Purdue faced a familiar opponent this afternoon in the quarterfinals, a No. 7-seed Ohio State team they beat in overtime three weeks ago.

Today, Purdue didn’t need overtime to claim a victory.

The Boilermakers seemingly remained unfazed as gusty fall winds blew on the field and a loud crowd consisting of both Boilermaker and Buckeye fans and loud blow horns given out during the pre-game tailgate echoed throughout the stadium. As they had done in the past, the Boilers came out putting the Buckeyes on their heels, keeping the ball at their feet.

The Boilers outmatched Ohio State’s offensive aggressiveness by a wide margin, attempting 10 more shots overall and eight more on goal. The rare times they were seen backed up near their goal on defense, either senior goalkeeper Marisa Bova would record a save or the backline would clear the ball out.

Thanks to a second half goal by fifth year forward Sarah Griffith, Purdue was able to play keepaway the rest of the game. Griffith matched Ohio State’s shots on goal with three while attempting seven shots, two fewer than the entirety of the Buckeye offense.

The results of the first half did not match their on-field performance. If not for an offsides call negating an Ohio State goal, Purdue would have gone into halftime trailing 0-1. Instead, the teams entered the half tied 0-0. This was the second game in a row Purdue’s opponent had a goal negated due to an offsides call.

Purdue shot an aggressive seven times on goal in just the first half. Ohio State managed just one shot under a suffocating Purdue defense. Buckeye goalie Bailey Kolinski notched six saves on those seven shots. Purdue also had eight corner kicks to one. They were mere inches away from scoring multiple times, but could not muster any points.

The sun hid behind an overcast of dark clouds entering the second half. The change of scenery did not correlate with a change in game plan as the Boilers kept on the offensive attack.

The physicality and intensity took a step up with players pushing and slide-tackling each other. Griffith was on the end of one physical tackle. Even with a foul called, she got up furious, waving her arms.

The next time she was tackled, the ref pulled out a yellow card on the Ohio State midfielder Caitlin Foley.

Multiple Purdue players found themselves in the offensive mix, even though they couldn’t find a score themselves. Senior midfielder Sydney Duarte shot four times while sophomore all Big Ten first team midfielder Emily Mathews shot three times. Both had two shots on goal.

Purdue moves on to the semifinals in the Big Ten tournament against the No. 3-seed Michigan (13-3-3, 7-2-2). The game will be played on Thursday at 4 p.m. in Piscataway, New Jersey and will air on the Big Ten Network.


• Purdue is now 13-12-4 against Ohio State overall and has won the last two matchups.

• Both times Purdue played Ohio State this season, the Boilermakers won, 1-0.

• The Boilermakers are 5-13-4 all-time vs. their next opponent, Michigan. Purdue has lost three straight, including a 2-1 loss on Folk Field on Sept. 30.

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