No. 24 Huskers Prepared to Cool Boilers
No. 24 Nebraska at Purdue
Date: Oct. 11
Time: 6 p.m. Central / 7 p.m. Eastern local in Purdue
Location: West Lafayette, Ind.
Field: Boilermaker Soccer Complex
Live Stats: PurdueSports.com
Video: PurdueSports.com ($)
The Huskers are looking to remain atop the Big Ten Conference standings and are preparing for just one game this week, a road battle against a rejuvenated Purdue squad on Friday, Oct. 11. Despite splitting last week’s action after a loss to a Top 25 foe, Nebraska showed up at No. 24 in Tuesday’s NSCAA Women’s Division I poll falling one spot from a week ago.
Nebraska dropped a nailbiting 2-1 decision to No. 21 Michigan on Sunday snapping its seven-match win streak, the program’s longest since 2004. The Huskers stayed put at No. 18 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings released on Monday afternoon.
Huskers Excel in Suspenseful Matches
NU is currently 9-3-1 on the year and amidst a stretch of seven straight, one-goal matches which has seen the Huskers go 6-1. Nebraska’s 4-1 record in the conference is tied with No. 11 Penn State for first place, as the Nittany Lions dropped 1-0 at Minnesota on Sunday.
The Huskers have been outshot in its last four conference matches but the defensive unit has stepped up and kept the opposition at bay en route to the fine start, equaling last year’s B1G win total with six matches remaining. In Big Ten action, NU has been outshot 83-68 and 26-24 on net but hold a 9-6 advantage on the scoreboard. The Blackshirts have been doing a nice job defending corner kicks so far, as B1G foes have earned 29 chances to just 12 for the Huskers.
Nebraska’s back line of defense has stood up to the task as they have prevented opponents from capitalizing on chances and running the ball up to the forwards on attack. Seniors Ari Romero, Maritza Hayes and Kylie Greischar along with Jaylyn Odermann have keyed the NU defense with all four of them playing extensive minutes the last few weeks.
NU senior goalkeeper Emma Stevens earned her 27th career victory in net with four saves against Iowa last week to notch her career-best ninth win of the year. Stevens, who has amassed 226 career saves, is just 13 stops shy of former Husker keeper Erin Miller (239) for the all-time mark. The graduate student sits second in four goalkeeper categories: saves, minutes (5,228), starts (58) and games played (61).
On the year, four Huskers have ten or more points with three players (Conroy, Jackson and Kraeutner) recording multiple goals in conference play. Nebraska has yet to allow a first-half goal, while posting five for the Scarlet & Cream. Opponents have the edge in the second half, 6-4.
The Huskers have jumped out to its best start in the Big Ten since joining the conference for the 2011 season.
Previewing Purdue (RPI: 78, Bennett: 79)
Friday’s matchup with Purdue will be the sixth meeting between the two programs, with the Huskers grasping a 3-2 series lead. Nebraska dropped a heartbreaker in double overtime last September in Lincoln as Purdue scored 58 seconds into the second OT session to secure the 2-1 victory. NU are determined to repeat its first visit to West Lafayette as a member of the Big Ten in 2011, which resulted in a 3-0 NU win.
The Boilermakers posted their third straight shutout victory in a 1-0 win against Northwestern on Sunday, extending their shutout streak to 283 consecutive minutes dating back to the end of the Sept. 26 loss at then No. 8 Penn State.
Purdue returns a large group from last year’s squad that went 7-10-2 overall and 2-8-1 in the Big Ten. The Boilers have already amassed three B1G wins this year and are led by this week’s Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Week Maddy Williams, who became the first Boilermaker to score the game-winning goal in consecutive Big Ten games since 2001. Williams provided Purdue with their only offense needed to earn a pair of 1-0 wins last weekend against Illinois and Northwestern.
Williams, who leads the squad with nine goals, has recorded a point in each of the last eight games in which she has played and scored in three of her last four. Purdue’s stingy defensive unit is paced by Mikayla Lasky, who has gone the distance at center back for nine consecutive matches.
Ms. Jackson Is For Real
Jordan Jackson’s 30th career goal moved her into a tie for eighth all-time at Nebraska with Nikki Baker. Jordan currently sits at 10th alone in all-time points with 82, while tied for 10th with 22 assists. Jordan is also seventh in shots on goal (121) and sixth in shots (243).
Leaders At The Break
Nebraska is 202-5-5 all-time (.964) when leading at the half. In 25 all-time Big Ten Conference games, the Huskers have led at the half just seven times, but are 4-0 this year in the conference holding leads.
- The Huskers have scored 17 of its 27 goals this season in the second half
- Nebraska is outscoring its opponents 11-4 at home in the second half in 2013
- Five different Huskers have scored three or more goals in 2013