Valparaiso posted its second straight shutout on Sunday afternoon in Cedar Falls, Iowa as the Crusaders blanked Northern Iowa 4-0 to improve to 6-2 on the season, the best start in school history.
The Crusaders have now bettered the 2005 squad's start of 5-3 through eight matches.
Lori Johnson (Sachse, Texas/Naaman Forest H.S.) got the scoring started in the 23rd minute, taking a nice feed from Kendall Brown (Lake Zurich, Ill./Carmel Catholic H.S.) and scoring into the right corner of the goal. The tally, her team-high fourth of the season, also was her fifth career match-winner, tying her for third place all-time on Valpo's career list.
Sarah Jewell (Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill H.S.) made it 2-0 before halftime, punching home a loose ball in the penalty area with seven minutes remaining in the stanza.
Jackie Kondratko (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) notched her first collegiate goal just 1:55 into the second half, taking a pass from Jewell and finding the back of the net. Jackie Thomas (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest H.S.) closed out the scoring with 2:32 to play in the match knocking home a corner kick off the foot of Jen Bartels (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores H.S.).
Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made two saves in the first 73 minutes of the shutout for the Brown and Gold while Mele Cabral (Boulder, Colo./Fairview H.S.) finished up between the posts. Krista Thorley made three saves for Northern Iowa (0-8) while Heidi O'Mara added two in the final ten minutes of the match.
Valpo outshot the Panthers 16-4 and held an 11-2 advantage in corner kicks won.
Valparaiso (6-2, 1-0 Mid-Con) finished their four-match roadtrip perfect and will now return to Eastgate Field on Friday afternoon for a Mid-Con tilt with Oral Roberts. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. with the match carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.