The Valpo soccer season saw its 2021 spring campaign finish just short of the ultimate goal Sunday in Chicago, Ill., as top-seeded Loyola made a 35th-minute goal stand up for a 1-0 final in the title match of the MVC Championship. Senior Keegan Maris (Batavia, Ill./Batavia), freshman Lindsey Dusatko (Plainfield, Ill./North) and freshman Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) represented the Brown and Gold on the All-Tournament Team, while Maris also was honored as the winner of the Elite 17 Award.
One match is all that separates Valpo from its first conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth since 2014, as the third-seeded Brown and Gold face off against top-seeded Loyola Sunday afternoon in the title match of the MVC Championship.
The Valpo soccer team was well represented as the Missouri Valley Conference announced its postseason awards on Friday morning, highlighted by the selection of freshman goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) as the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year.
The Valpo soccer team is one step away from winning its first Missouri Valley Conference championship, as freshman Lindsey Dusatko (Plainfield, Ill./North) found the back of the net in Wednesday’s MVC semifinal match at Indiana State with just over a minute left in extra time to give Valpo the 1-0 victory on the golden goal. Valpo will play at Loyola Sunday afternoon for the championship trophy and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
After prevailing in a penalty kick tiebreaker over Evansville Sunday to open up MVC Championship action, third-seeded Valpo takes the field Wednesday afternoon for a semifinal match at second-seeded Indiana State. The Brown and Gold are in search of their first-ever trip to the MVC title match.
After 110 tense minutes of soccer at Brown Field Sunday in first-round MVC Championship action resulted in a scoreless draw, third-seeded Valpo proved it was up to the task in the ensuing penalty-kick tiebreaker, converting all five of its attempts to top sixth-seeded Evansville, 5-3, and advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Valpo freshman goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) has been named the final MVC Defensive Player of the Week of the season after posting a clean sheet in the 1-0 win in the regular season finale at Illinois State.
Wins in each of their final two regular season matches not only propelled the Valpo soccer team into the MVC Championship, but sent the Brown and Gold into a tie for third place and gave them the third seed for this year’s tournament. With the third seed, Valpo will host sixth-seeded Evansville in first round action on Sunday afternoon from Brown Field.
The Valpo soccer team took the lead in its regular season finale Wednesday at Illinois State thanks to a header early in the second half from sophomore Natalie Graf (Williamsburg, Mich./St. Francis) and made that tally stand up over the next 36 minutes, coming away with a 1-0 victory. With the win, Valpo secured its highest finish in the MVC standings since joining the Valley and not only earned a berth in the MVC Championship, but will host a first-round tournament match at Brown Field on Sunday.