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Entomology Student, Shauna Stapleton, kicks game winning goal

Purdue Exponet
By Charlie Burroughs
September 10, 2007

Shauna Stapleton, Senior in Entomology

The Purdue women's soccer team proved it won't back down from anyone, even the No. 1 team in the country.

The Boilers defeated the Portland Pilots Sunday, capturing the Nike/Husky Invitational title.

Senior midfielder Shauna Stapleton hit the game-winning goal in the 58th minute.

"It was an easy one for me," Stapleton said. "(My teammates) did all the work, I just put it in."

Senior Parrissa Eyorokon lined up her corner kick and strategically hit ball to the far post, which was headed by junior Jessica Okoroafo to the near post. Stapleton, standing unguarded, slammed in the goal with a header.

"They started to panic after the goal," said Stapleton. "We will mix it up with anyone. It doesn't matter if they are the No. 1 team."

A game that saw 19 fouls reached its climax when senior defender Zarinah Blockton came face to face with Portland star forward Rachael Rapinoe. Blockton was challenged by Rapinoe after she was thrown down. Coach Rob Klatte said Blockton was coaxed into getting up and hitting Rapinoe in the face.

"We need to keep control and back down in bad situations," Klatte said.

Blockton received a red card and Rapinoe a yellow card. That meant the Boilers had to play the remaining 33 minutes a player down.

Coach Rob Klatte said the aggressive play came because there was so much on the line.

"The teams fouled someone with a good clean hit and then kept playing," he said. "It (the red card) was a learning experience just like anything else."

With a player down, the Boilers defended seven shots between the 76th and 85th minute, which included three corner kicks. The closest shot came from Natalie Budge, the Pilots' leading scorer, in the 77th minute. But it was saved by sophomore goalie Jenny Bradfisch.

Going into the day, the Boilers' biggest challenge was trying to contain Budge and Rapinoe.

"You have to step in and win as many initial passes with them," Klatte said. "You have to keep them past the first defensive line and always challenge them when they get the ball."

The times they did get past the line, Bradfisch came up with saves. She finished with three on the day.

Sunday's win was preceded by Friday night's win against Washington, 3-1. Stapleton, again, was in the spotlight for making history, as only six other Boilers have done before, scoring two goals in the first half. The first goal came by accident from 35 yards out.

"I was going for the pass," said Stapleton. "The ball lifted on me, though, and dropped right over the goalie from 40 yards out."

Klatte doesn't believe luck plays were the reason for the team's success.

"This was clearly a group of ladies who have played together for three years," Klatte said. "They are playing with a large amount of self-confidence, and they'll show it to anyone."