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Oct. 25, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-ranked Penn State women's soccer team (15-2-1, 9-0-1) will close out the 2012 Big Ten regular season at the Purdue Boilermakers on Friday night at 7 p.m. The contest can be followed via a live stats link on GoPSUsports.com. Additionally, a link to the radio broadcast can be found on GoPSUsports.com as well.
Penn State is coming off a 1-1 draw to Michigan on Sunday and captured its 15th-straight Big Ten regular season title. Despite being down late in the contest, senior Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) tied it up with five minutes to go in regulation on a penalty kick. After playing a scoreless first half, Michigan got on the board in the 59th minute. Nkem Ezurike scored off a free kick to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. Nevertheless, the Nittany Lion pressure would finally pay off with a takedown in the box. Nairn nailed the penalty kick for her 13th goal of the season with five minutes to go in regulation to tie it up at one. The tie was Penn State's first since it played No. 15 Virginia to a 1-1 draw back on Aug. 27, 2010.
Last Friday and previously before the Michigan match, the Lions picked up a 5-1 win over Michigan State in front of an outstanding crowd of 2,606 at Jeffrey Field. After heading into halftime with a 1-0 lead, Penn State put together four second half goals, three of which came from freshmen. Mallory Peterson (Clinton Corners, N.Y.) scored her first career goal and also notched her first multi-goal game as she added two late goals for the Nittany Lions. For her efforts, Peterson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
The Nittany Lions are 137-22-5 all-time in October for an astounding .851 winning percentage. As for November, Penn State is 62-22-4 all-time (.727). PSU went 4-1-0 in August to up its all-time record to 20-10-2 (.636), while posting a 6-1-0 mark in September to improve to 119-31-13 (.770) all-time.
Purdue enters Friday's contest with a 7-9-2 overall record and a 2-7-1 mark in conference action. The Boilermakers have posted a 6-3-2 record in home games though. Purdue is currently riding a tough five-game losing streak with recent losses coming to Minnesota (5-1) on Sunday and Wisconsin (4-2) on Friday. As for notable common opponents, the Boilermakers tied West Virginia, 2-2 on Sept. 9 and defeated Central Michigan on Sept. 12, 2-0.
Leading the way for Purdue on the offensive attack is Jordan Pawlik, who has 21 points on the year coming on nine goals and three assists. Pawlik is one of four players that have notched double-digit numbers in points. Joining her is Alex Hairston (16 points), Hadley Stuart (15) and Taylor Niewoit (10). Hairston is the team leader with eight assists and Stuart is just behind her with seven. Clara Kridler will start in goal for the Boilermakers as she has made 86 saves this season in nearly 1600 minutes of action.
Penn State has dominated the series with Purdue with an 11-1-1 overall record. PSU has won the past eight games by a combined score of 23-4 dating back to 2004. Last season, the Lions earned a 2-0 victory over the Boilermakers.
For all information on Penn State women's soccer, please visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/sports/w-soccer. Follow Penn State women's soccer on Twitter: @PennStateWSOC. Follow Penn State women's soccer on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PSUWomensSoccer.