Behind a pair of freshmen, Valparaiso scored twice in the final six minutes of the match to come from behind and defeat Murray State 2-1 on Friday afternoon at Eastgate Field in the Crusaders' season opener.
The Crusaders won a season opener for the first time in the program's 13-year history.
Kendall Brown (Lake Zurich, Ill./Carmel H.S.) tied the match at one with 5:46 to play, heading home a Emily King (Colona, Ill./United Township H.S.) lob over the defense from 12 yards out for her first collegiate goal. King's assist was the sixth of her career, moving her into eighth place on Valpo's all-time charts.
Fellow freshman Dana McGlone (Littleton, Colo./Heritage H.S.) tallied the match-winner just 2:28 later, taking a cross from Brown that Liberty Ziegahn (Anchorage, Alaska/Robert Service H.S.) had a touch on, and scoring from the middle of the box. The span between goals was the fourth shortest span in school history.
Valpo carried the play throughout most of the match, but had trouble finding the back of the goal early. The match was scoreless at intermission, despite the Crusaders holding a 6-2 shot advantage.
The Crusaders continued to pour the pressure on in the second half, outshooting the Racers 16-5 in the stanza and 22-7 total for the match. Annie Fortier made several big stops to keep the match scoreless for Murray State until a Crusader turnover gave the visitors the lead.
A turnover in the defense half was picked up by Krista Llewellyn and fired off the hands of Valpo keeper Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.). Kara Carlile tapped it into the goal to put the Racers up 1-0 at the 62:36 mark, a lead they would keep until late.
Murray made four stops in goal for Valpo while Fortier made six saves for Murray State (0-1). The Crusaders held a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks won on the way to the victory.
Valparaiso (1-0) will look for its second straight victory to start the season on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich. for a 12 p.m. CDT match against Central Michigan. The match will be carried live on WVUR, 95.1-FM, Valparaiso.