Valparaiso opened the Mid-Continent Conference season on Friday afternoon with a 1-0 overtime victory over Western Illinois in Macomb, Ill. for the Crusaders' third straight victory as well as their third overtime triumph of the year.
Brittany Derksen (Chugiak, Alaska/Chugiak H.S.) scored her first goal of the season on a cross from Lori Johnson (Sachse, Texas/Naaman Forest H.S.) with 4:35 left in the first extra session to give the Brown and Gold the victory.
Valpo now remains unbeaten (5-0-6) in its last 11 overtime contests dating back to 2003.
Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) earned her first shutout of the season and school-best 12 of her career, making four saves in the win. Western Illinois' Samantha Clark was nearly as good, making four stops before allowing the match-winner.
Western Illinois (4-3, 0-1 Mid-Con) outshot Valpo 14-11 but the Crusaders had the only two shots in extra time. The Westerwinds also held a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks. The match saw seven total cards, including a red to Western Illinois in overtime allowing the Crusaders to play a player up over the final moments.
Valparaiso (5-2, 1-0) will close out its four-match road trip and look to continue its winning streak on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa for a 1 p.m. match against Northern Iowa.