Valpo Off to Best Start Ever after Blanking Northern Iowa
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Valparaiso posted its second straight shutout on Sunday afternoon in Cedar Falls, Iowa as the Crusaders blanked Northern Iowa 4-0 to improve to 6-2 on the season, the best start in school history.

The Crusaders have now bettered the 2005 squad's start of 5-3 through eight matches.

Lori Johnson (Sachse, Texas/Naaman Forest H.S.) got the scoring started in the 23rd minute, taking a nice feed from Kendall Brown (Lake Zurich, Ill./Carmel Catholic H.S.) and scoring into the right corner of the goal. The tally, her team-high fourth of the season, also was her fifth career match-winner, tying her for third place all-time on Valpo's career list.

Sarah Jewell (Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill H.S.) made it 2-0 before halftime, punching home a loose ball in the penalty area with seven minutes remaining in the stanza.

Jackie Kondratko (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) notched her first collegiate goal just 1:55 into the second half, taking a pass from Jewell and finding the back of the net. Jackie Thomas (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest H.S.) closed out the scoring with 2:32 to play in the match knocking home a corner kick off the foot of Jen Bartels (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores H.S.).

Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made two saves in the first 73 minutes of the shutout for the Brown and Gold while Mele Cabral (Boulder, Colo./Fairview H.S.) finished up between the posts. Krista Thorley made three saves for Northern Iowa (0-8) while Heidi O'Mara added two in the final ten minutes of the match.

Valpo outshot the Panthers 16-4 and held an 11-2 advantage in corner kicks won.

Valparaiso (6-2, 1-0 Mid-Con) finished their four-match roadtrip perfect and will now return to Eastgate Field on Friday afternoon for a Mid-Con tilt with Oral Roberts. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. with the match carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at