West Layafette, Ind. - For just the second time in school history, and the first time on the road, the University of Minnesota soccer team took down top-10 opponent, as they beat #9 ranked Purdue 1-0 at the Varsity Soccer Complex.
Midway through the first half, Tamara Strahota (Burnsville, Minn.) sent the ball to the top of the six-yard box in front of the goal where Molly Rouse (Cambridge, Minn.) was waiting. Rouse fired the first of her game-high five shots on the game, beating Boilermaker goalkeeper, Jenny Bradfisch, as the ball found its way though the mix of Gophers and Boilermakers in front of the net.
Purdue (7-3-3) came into the game unbeaten since Sept. 13 and with a 4-0-2 record at home. For the second straight time, Minnesota (10-2-2) gave their opponent their first home loss of the season, doing the same to Wisconsin on 10/1.
Rouse's goal came at the 22:56 mark of the opening half, a half that saw Purdue fire off 11 shots compared to Minnesota's six. Despite leading in shots, the Boilermaker's were limited to just two shots on goal, as the Gopher defense continued to force the opposition into bad chances.
In the second half the Gopher defense was equally as strong allowing just four shots. Purdue was also held without a corner in the half, as the ball was controlled by Minnesota for majority of the period. The Gophers held the shot advantage in the half, notching a 7-to-4 margin.
With about 2:00 minutes left, the last best chance came for Purdue, as they took the ball deep into Minnesota territory. However, as they had been all game - and season - Minnesota was up to the challenge, knocking the ball back to midfield before a shot could be taken.
The win is the third straight for the Gophers, and keeps them unbeaten in their last seven matches, a streak that stretches back to mid-September. Now at 3-0-1 in the Big Ten Minnesota are tied for first in the Big Ten standings with Wisconsin. The Badgers, however, have a loss on their record, courtesy of the Gophers.
The shutout is the seventh of the season for Parkhill, moving her into a tie in fifth place for most shutouts in a single season in school history.
The last time the Gophers beat a top-10 team was just two seasons ago, when a team that includes 10 current Gophers knocked off #7 Penn State 1-0 in double overtime at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Head coach Mikki Denney Wright has been at the helm for both wins.
The Gophers continue Big Ten play at home on Oct. 16 and 18, in what will be the biggest weekend of the season so far. It will be Rock the Robbie weekend as Minnesota host's their much anticipated match-up with fellow 2008 Big Ten Champion Penn State. Kickoff with the Nittany Lions is at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 16, before the Gophers host Ohio State at 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 18.