West Lafayette, Ind. - A Big Ten win. A victory over a nationally-ranked opponent. A point in the Titan Series standings. Ownership over the newly-dedicated Golden Boot. Bragging rights in a heated intrastate rivalry.
Yes, there was much more at stake than "just" victory or defeat. It was to be one remembered gingerly by the Hoosiers, losing 1-0 in a heartbreaker in the final two and a half minutes of the game.
On a rain-soaked field in West Lafayette, the Hoosiers came out with the confidence that they have allowed glimpses of on the season, determined to make this final Big Ten regular-season game one to remember.
Against the No. 13 Boilermakers, the Hoosiers were able to hold them to just two shots in the first half, just one on goal. Indiana had four shots, and all of those opportunities came on goal.
If Purdue had expected Hoosier complacency, they were undoubtedly surprised. The Hoosier defense did not allow the Boilermakers to put any offense together in front of IU goalkeeper Shaunna Daugherty, though she came up with a huge save early in the game. The Indiana midfield played tough as junior Emily Hotz had two shots on goal while senior Kara Bryan had one of her own. The other goal in the first half came from freshman defender Ryan Hanley.
The second half began and as the autumn weather got increasingly colder, the tone of the game did not change, other than to see the Boilermakers attempt to even the shot count.
Midway through the second half, Kristen Sprunger and Kate Kastl came into the game and immediately took the ball to the Purdue net. Kastl just didn't have enough on the ball to get it into the back of the net.
Purdue's Courtney Coppedge made a great run and nearly gave the Boilermakers the advantage shortly after Kastl’s opportunity, but Hoosier defender Carly Everett headed the ball up and away from the IU goal, thwarting the Boilermaker attempt.
With 12 minutes remaining in the contest, Erin Hesselbach was yellow-carded, setting up a free kick for the Boilermakers. Daugherty came up big again to stave off anything Purdue might put together with a save on Elise Berry’s shot.
With 2:22 remaining in the second period, Purdue's Lauren Sesselmann found her way past the IU defense and Daugherty, putting the Boilermakers up 1-0 for the Purdue win.
Daugherty ended with two saves, facing three shots on goal and eight total shots. The Hoosiers would again outshoot an opponent with six shots on goal and 10 total shots.
The Hoosiers end their Big Ten regular season schedule with a conference mark of 4-4-2 and an overall mark of 8-6-2. They travel to Terre Haute, Ind. to take on Indiana State Sunday, Oct. 27 and finish their regular season Oct. 30 at home when they host Butler.