Last season Purdue women’s soccer had a banner year behind conference player of the year Sarah Griffith. The Boilers went 15-4-3, spent much of season in the top 25, and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. They even won a game against Loyola-Chicago in double overtime on home turf and took Notre Dame to the brink in the second round before losing on penalty kicks.
Griffith is gone, but it looks like the ladies are in for another solid year this year. Purdue received four votes in the preseason top 25 poll, good enough for 30th overall. They are likely to move into the top 25 in the second poll after last night’s dominant season opening win over #15 USC 3-0.
It was a long flight for the Trojans to open their season and they were missing four starters who were participating in the U-20 World Cup, but Purdue gave them a rude awakening with a late first half goal by Naomi Splittorff and second second half goals from Gracie Dunaway.
Purdue faces Vanderbilt at Folk Field on Sunday, and the Big Ten season begins at Northwestern on September 18th. Purdue should be one of the better teams in the Big Ten, but defending champion Rutgers is ranked 6th (Purdue hosts them October 2nd) and Michigan is ranked 9th (They are not on the schedule before the Big Ten Tournament). The only other ranked team Purdue faces is #16 Notre Dame at home September 8th.