The Valparaiso University women's soccer team saw its season come to a close Friday evening as the Crusaders dropped a 1-0 match to Oakland in the semifinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament.
The two schools battled through a scoreless opening half. Oakland had the first chance of the match, but Kristen Templin (Madison, Wis./Middleton H.S.) made a pair of saves in the ninth minute.
Valpo's best chance of the opening stanza came as Emily King (Colona, Ill./United Township H.S.) ripped a blast from 20 yards out that was saved by Sarah Buckland.
Oakland had another chance with 10:30 left in the first half, but Jenny Young headed a cross wide right.
The Crusaders went a man down late in the first half, playing with ten for the final 50:49 of the match.
Oakland, playing with the wind at its back in the opening half, outshot Valpo 9-2 in the opening half, with Templin pushing aside five of the shots.
The Golden Grizzlies had two opportunities in the early minutes of the second half but Templin was equal to the challenge. The first was punched over the goal a minute into the half, and the second was a diving save to her left at the 41:45 mark.
Lori Moore (Dyer, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) looked to put the Brown and Gold on the board at the 33:50 mark with a shot from 15 yards out on the left side directed for the upper corner that was pushed aside with a diving save by Buckland.
Oakland got on the board at 76:53 as Silje Moen slid one past Templin from the right side after receiving an Erica Demerrs pass from the back.
Lorna Torrez (Dallas Center, Iowa/Dallas Center-Grimes H.S.) looked for the equalizer in the 81st minute from the left side, but again Buckland was up to the challenge.
The Golden Grizzlies outshot Valpo 21-6 for the contest and held a 6-4 advantage on corner kicks. Templin made nine stops for the Crusaders while Buckland made six saves for Oakland.
Valpo's season ends at 5-13-1, while Oakland (10-11) advances to the Mid-Con championship match on Sunday.