Purdue University defeated Ohio State 3-1 on Sunday at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul, Minn. to win the 2007 Big Ten Tournament Championship. The Boilermakers controlled the tempo of the game, totaling three goals and 13 shots. Purdue’s defense had another strong performance as they held Ohio State to only seven shots, four of which were on goal.
Purdue jumped out to an early lead when midfielder Shauna Stapleton took a corner that was headed past Ohio State’s Lauren Robertson by Kira Bilecky. Robertson got a hand on the ball, but had it get by her into the bottom right corner of the goal, Bilecky’s second of the season.
In the 24th minute Purdue added a second goal when Stapleton led a ball towards forward Jessica Okoroafo. Okoroafo slotted the ball into the upper left corner of net, scoring her eighth goal of the year.
With eight minutes left in the half Ohio State threatened when forward Emily Esbrook sent a shot that was controlled by Purdue keeper Jenny Bradfisch, the only shot on goal the Buckeyes posted in the first half. The two teams went in at the half with Purdue up 2-0 over Ohio State.
Purdue had a golden chance to add a third goal in the 65th minute when Buckeye defender Keiana Mitchell was booked for a yellow card tackle on Purdue forward Felicia Schroeder. Schroeder appeared to have a one-on-one opportunity but was tackled from behind by Mitchell, giving Purdue a penalty kick. Robertson was able to stop Jordan Shaffer’s shot with a diving save and keep the score 2-0.
Minutes later the Buckeyes earned their first goal of the contest when midfielder Lara Dickenmann took a corner that found the head of teammate Courtney Jenkins. Jenkins sent the ball to teammate Caitlin Colfer who slotted the ball home for her second goal of the season.
Purdue scored in the 73rd minute to make the score 3-1. Defender Jessica Stellhorn crossed the ball towards forward Loredana Riverso who headed the ball past Robertson. It was Riverso’s fourth goal of the tournament and 12th of the season.
With the win, Purdue earns an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, while Ohio State will most likely earn an at-large bid. NCAA Tournament selections will be announced Monday night.