Valparaiso battled for 90 minutes against Akron on Sunday afternoon at Eastgate Field but the Zips came away with the lone goal of the match in the 79th minute to defeat the Crusaders 1-0.
With the win, Akron remains unbeaten and unscored upon this season, improving to 4-0 while Valpo falls to 2-2.
The scoreless first half saw the Crusaders outshoot Akron 6-4, but neither team could find the back of the net.
Kate Ferrara headed in a shot in the goalmouth at the 78:46 mark on a feed from Jessica Ewing for the lone goal of the match to break the scoreless tie.
Valpo finished the contest outshooting Akron 13-8, but the Zips held a 5-2 advantage on goal. Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made four saves between the posts for the Brown and Gold while Krystin Wilson made two stops for the Zips in the shutout victory.
Valparaiso returns to the field on Friday evening to begin a four-match road trip, as the Crusaders head to Nashville, Tenn. for a 6:30 p.m. contest at Belmont.