Oakland scored two goals 52 seconds apart early in the second half as the Golden Grizzlies defeated Valparaiso 2-1 on Friday afternoon at Eastgate Field.
The loss marked the first home contest the Crusaders have dropped this season.
Valpo went in front midway through the first half after Kendall Brown (Lake Zurich, Ill./Carmel H.S.) made a run into the box and was fouled by an Oakland defender. Emily King (Colona, Ill./United Township H.S.) stepped up and converted her third penalty kick of the season to put the Crusaders up 1-0.
For King, it was her sixth goal of the season and 16th of her career, moving the senior into sole possession of third place on Valpo's goal-scoring list.
The Crusaders took the one goal lead into intermission, but Kristi Swaving scored from 23 yards out on a free kick into the lower left corner of the goal at the 58:34 mark to tie the match. Just 52 seconds later, Jessica Boyle headed home a Kristi Mitchell corner kick to put the Golden Grizzlies in front for the match's final margin.
Oakland (7-7-1, 3-2 Mid-Con) outshot Valpo 19-11 and held a 10-5 advantage in shots on goal. Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made six saves for the Crusaders while Jessica Howard made four stops for the Golden Grizzlies.
Valpo (9-6-1, 4-1 Mid-Con) is still assured of at least a share of the Mid-Con crown, but will have to wait until next Saturday's match at Southern Utah to attempt to win it outright.
The Crusaders will return to the field on Sunday for a 1 p.m. match at Eastgate Field against IPFW. Valpo will honor its seven seniors prior to the final home contest of the season.