Valparaiso and Evansville each found the back of the net within three minutes of each other during the second half on Sunday afternoon, battling to a 1-1 exhibition tie in Evansville, Ind.
Valpo and Evansville each played a scoreless opening 45 minutes, with each team managing just a pair of shot attempts each.
The Crusaders found the scoreboard at the 51:34 mark in the second half as Jackie Kondratko (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) served a cross from the end line into the penalty area where Lori Johnson (Sachse, Texas/Naaman Forest H.S.) headed the ball into the side netting from six yards out.
“We created some quality chance and put Evansville under pressure with our attack,” head coach Stephen Anthony said.
Evansville answered at the 54:09 mark as Rocky Hearst scored on a penalty kick. Kayla Lambert got behind the Valpo defense and was tripped up in the penalty box to create the scoring opportunity.
Neither team could score in the final 35 minutes of the match, and overtime was not played in the preseason finale for both schools.
“I was very pleased with our play today against a quality Evansville team,” Anthony added. “We were organized in the back and prevented a lot from happening in our midfield.”
Evansville finished the match holding a 9-6 advantage in shots. Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made one first half save for the Crusaders while Mele Cabral (Boulder, Colo./Fairview H.S.) made two stops in the second 45 minutes.
“The match was well played by both sides and will certainly help us prepare for our opening weekend,” concluded Anthony.
Valparaiso will open the 2007 regular season on Friday afternoon at Eastgate Field. Kickoff against Murray State to begin a three-match homestand is set for 4 p.m., with all the action carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.