Valparaiso held its own on Saturday evening at the Varsity Soccer Complex in West Lafayette, Ind., before eventually falling to 14th-ranked Purdue 1-0 on the second day of the Boilermaker Challenge Cup.
“We did a nice job of battling today against a very good team,” head coach John Marovich said. “Purdue is a top team in the Big Ten and very well coached. It was a great opportunity to grow as a group, and I was proud of the way we played.”
Valpo goalkeeper Mele Cabral (Boulder, Colo./Fairview H.S.) made 15 saves for the Crusaders to keep the Brown and Gold in the match, a career-high for the senior netminder as Purdue outshot Valparaiso 35-5 for the contest.
In the first 45 minutes, the Boilermakers outshot Valpo 14-3 and had four corner kick opportunities, but Cabral made five stops to keep the match scoreless at the break.
Purdue (4-0) finally broke through with 30:04 remaining in the match as Jessica Okoroafo took a pass from Vanessa Ibewuike across the box and scored in the upper left part of the goal.
That would be the only shot the Boilermakers would be able to get past Cabral though, as she made 10 more stops in the second half while Purdue registered 21 in the stanza.
The Boilermakers also finished with nine corner kick opportunities for the match.
Valparaiso (2-4) will return to action on Friday morning as the Crusaders wrap up their four-match road trip with a visit to Mount Pleasant, Mich. to battle Central Michigan. Kickoff is set for 10:30 a.m. CDT with the game carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpoathletics.com.
Match Notes: Purdue leads the all-time series 4-0 … Becky Clever (Cincinnati, Ohio/Madeira H.S.) made her season debut for Valpo while Marie Argo (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West H.S.) made her collegiate debut.