Kendall Brown (Lake Zurich, Ill./Carmel Catholic H.S.) scored a goal and had an assist to help Valparaiso post a 2-0 victory over Detroit on Friday afternoon at Eastgate Field, giving Crusader head coach Stephen Anthony his 75th victory at the helm of the Brown and Gold.
The victory marked Valpo’s first ever conference win as a member of the Horizon League. “Our first Horizon League win is significant and certainly was a result of how the entire team prepared, played, and supported one another today,” Anthony said.
Valpo dominated the offensive attack throughout most of the match. Brown helped put the Crusaders on the board just 13:48 into the contest, sending a cross from the right side into the box that Brittany Derksen (Chugiak, Alaska/Chugiak H.S.) got a head on and put past Titan goalkeeper Katie Fortenberry.
“I was pleased with how we came out to start the game today,” Anthony said. “An early goal certainly changes the game for the better. It was nice to see the team respond to the Loyola game and again come out with enthusiasm and energy today.”
Valpo went into intermission with just a 1-0 lead, despite outshooting Detroit 8-1 in the first 45 minutes. “I felt we did a nice job in the first half to find our wide midfielders,” added Anthony. “Our play out wide resulted in several good services and corner opportunities which is certainly a good indication that we are playing a moving the ball well.”
The Crusaders continued to control play in the second stanza, and Brown added an insurance tally with just 3:56 remaining after taking a through ball from Lynnea Pappas (Parma, Ohio/Holy Name H.S.) and scoring from 20 yards out. For Brown, it was her 16th career marker, moving her into fourth place alone on Valpo’s all-time goal scoring list.
Valpo finished the match with a 15-4 advantage in shots on the afternoon, including a 9-2 edge on goal. The Crusaders also had five corner kick opportunities compared with Detroit’s one.
“The team felt they did a good job possessing the ball against Loyola and that carried over today,” concluded Anthony. “We adjusted at halftime and played the high forward more in the second half and the midfield did a nice job of supporting the pass.”
Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made just two saves in recording her 18th career shutout while Fortenberry made seven stops for Detroit (3-7-2, 1-1-1 Horizon).
Valparaiso (7-6, 1-2) will return to action next Friday afternoon as the Crusaders host Milwaukee. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Eastgate Field with all the action carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.