Valparaiso closed out its 2004 regular season with a 1-0 victory over Central Michigan at Eastgate Field on Saturday afternoon to assure the Crusaders just their second winning season in school history.
Valpo, which improves to 9-7-2 on the season, scored the lone goal of the match at the 20:49 mark of the first half. Following a Chippewa foul, Emily King (Colona, Ill./United Township H.S.) took the free kick from 20 yards out and placed it just right of the defensive wall that was set up and into the bottom right corner of the net.
King's third goal of the year would stand up as the match-winner as Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made six saves to earn her fifth shutout of the season, tying Valpo's single season school record. Amy Cavanaugh (1996-1999)also recorded five shutouts during the 1999 season. Anne Decker made just two saves between the posts for Central Michigan (8-7-3).
The Chippewas outshot the Crusaders 17-6 for the match and held an 8-3 advantage on goal. Central Michigan also had five corner kick opportunities, while Valpo had just one.
The match marked the final home appearance for seniors Amy Miller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lakota West H.S., Ohio), Lindsay Holley (Waldorf, Md./Westlake H.S.), and Kelly Faulkner (Plymouth, Minn./Maple Grove H.S.).
Valpo will now head to the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament next Friday as Oakland hosts the championships in Rochester, Mich. The Crusaders, the tournament's third seed, will face second-seeded Centenary in the semifinals. Match time will be determined in the upcoming days.