Goals by freshmen Luisa Desario (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett H.S.) and Rachel Hoaglin (Lakeville, Minn./Academy of Holy Angels H.S.) just 32 seconds apart proved to be the difference on Sunday as Valparaiso recorded its third straight victory with a 2-0 shutout against Cleveland State at Krenzler Field in Cleveland, Ohio.
With the win, the Crusaders have assured themselves no worse than a fifth place finish in the Horizon League, and have guaranteed themselves a spot in the Horizon League Tournament which begins November 1.
The Crusaders controlled the play throughout the match, outshooting the Vikings 18-3, and did not allow a shot attempt against them in the second half on the way to a 10-0 advantage in the final 45 minutes after the two schools battled through a scoreless first half.
“I thought we were solid and focused for the full 90 minutes today,” head coach John Marovich said. “The first 20 we really moved the ball and had great opportunities. We really imposed ourselves on the match today and I was really proud of our performance.”
Valpo got on the scoreboard just 5:36 after intermission as Desario scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season, firing a shot from five yards out that beat goalkeeper Kelly Zinkiewich up high. Janine Lytle (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster H.S.) drew the assist on the goal. With the goal, Desario moved into a tie for ninth place on Valpo’s single season scoring list.
Hoaglin added the insurance goal just 32 seconds later, firing a blast from 30 yards out that found the back of the net for her fifth tally of the year.
“I thought in the second half we came out and did what we needed to do, like get the ball out wide,” Marovich added. “We had two really fine finishes. Hoaglin’s goal was phenomenal and Luisa’s was as well from getting the ball out wide. We did a great job of finishing off the game and did a great job of getting three points on the road.”
Mele Cabral (Boulder, Colo./Fairview H.S.) made two saves for her fifth shutout of the season while Zinkiewich made 10 stops in goal for Cleveland State (3-12-1, 2-4-1 Horizon).
Valparaiso (7-8-1, 4-3) will wrap up conference play on Friday afternoon as the Crusaders begin their final homestand of the season looking for its third straight victory. Valpo will host Butler at 3 p.m. at Eastgate Field with all the action carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso).
Match Notes: Valpo leads the all-time series 6-0, winning three times in Cleveland … the last three meetings between the two schools have resulted in 2-0 shutout victories … Cabral’s five shutouts on the season are tied for fourth on the single season charts and her 17 for her career are second most in school history … Lytle’s assist was her second of the season … Hoaglin has a team-leading 14 point, tied for 10th on the single season list.