After waiting out a thunderstorm for nearly 40 minutes, Valparaiso opened its 2005 exhibition season on Thursday afternoon, dropping a 3-1 decision to Grand Valley State at Eastgate Field.
The Lakers opened the scoring in the first half as Meaghan Robinson scored an unassisted goal at the 26:20 mark. She turned around from 20 yards out at the top of the box and scored into the right corner of the goal.
The match stayed 1-0 heading into intermission, despite Valpo holding an 8-4 advantage in shots and a 5-1 edge in corner kicks won. Erin Murphy made two first half saves for the visitors, while Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made one stop for the Crusaders.
Grand Valley State struck quickly in the second half. Katy Tafler took a long lead pass from Erica Rose and scored on a breakaway to make it 2-0 Lakers just 2:47 into the stanza. Shannon Carrier added a third goal with 25:33 remaining as Shannon Carrier took a feed from Tafler and chipped it up over Crusader netminder Danielle Guerra (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) to make the lead three.
Liberty Ziegahn (Anchorage, Alaska/Robert Service H.S.) scored Valpo's lone goal at the 76:32 mark, firing a blast from the top of the box into the top of the goal, beating Laker goalkeeper Kristina Nasturzio.
Valpo had more opportunities in the second half, tallying ten shots, but Nasturzio made three saves to keep the Crusaders from getting any closer.
For the match, Valpo outshot Grand Valley State 18-9 and held a 10-1 advantage on corners.
The Crusaders will conclude exhibition play on Sunday afternoon as the Brown and Gold travels to Bloomington, Ind. for a 12 p.m. match against Indiana.