Four first half goals helped Valparaiso tied the school record for victories in a season on Friday afternoon as the Crusaders defeated IUPUI 4-1 at Eastgate Field.
The Crusaders improve to 12-3-2 overall and 4-0-1 in the Mid-Continent Conference, on the verge of clinching the regular season title. Valpo's 12 wins tie the 2005 squad for victories in the season, and the Brown and Gold has also assured itself of the best league record in school history.
Sarah Jewell (Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill H.S.) put the Crusaders on the scoreboard just 4:14 into the match, dribbling through several Jaguar defenders before beating Jamie Farrell from 15 yards out.
Laura Murphy (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley H.S.) added to the Brown and Gold's advantage, sending a corner kick off an IUPUI defender and into the back of the net in the 21st minute.
Another set piece started by Murphy led the Valpo's third goal, as Lauren Cooper (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep H.S.) tapped in the loose ball in front of the goal mouth with 19 minutes left before halftime. The assist for Murphy, her fifth of the season, moves her into second place on Valpo's single season list, one helper shy of the school mark.
Jewell added one more goal before intermission, her ninth of the season, fifth most in school history. The freshman bent the ball in straight from the corner at the 38:50 mark. The tally was the was the 37th of the year for Valparaiso, setting a new single season record for goals, surpassing last year's total of 36.
IUPUI (5-6-5, 1-2-2 Mid-Con) broke up the shutout at the 65:22 mark, as Emily Hicks scored on a free kick from 25 yards out.
Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made seven saves in the victory for the Crusaders. Jamie Farrell, who entered the match with a league-best 0.40 goals against average, did make a stop in the first half, while Jessie Mann made three second half saves.
Valparaiso outshot IUPUI 16-14 for the match, while holding a 4-0 edge in corner kick opportunities.
Valpo will look to win the Mid-Con title on Thursday afternoon as the Crusaders close out the regular season at Eastgate Field against Southern Utah. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m., and the match will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.