Valparaiso earned its third straight victory on Sunday afternoon and with it is off to the best start in program history after defeating Indiana State 2-1 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Jackie Kondratko (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) got the Crusaders on the scoreboard just 14:42 into the match. Kendall Brown (Lake Zurich, Ill./Carmel Catholic H.S.) held off defenders and fired a shot which was deflected to the top of the 18 where Kondratko fired it passed goalkeeper Emily Lahay for her third goal of the season.
The Crusaders controlled the first half, holding an 8-2 shot advantage while taking the 1-0 lead into the locker room.
“I thought we came out the first half and did an excellent job of winning balls in the midfield,” head coach John Marovich said. “That helped us get into our attack.”
Valpo added to its lead at the 63:35 mark. Jackie Thomas (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest H.S.) took a set piece and found Laura Romberg (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills H.S.) who headed the ball off of the crossbar. Jessie White (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) collected the rebound for the goal, her first of the season.
Indiana State (1-4) got on the scoreboard with 18 minutes remaining in the match as Alison Gasparovich took a shot off of Crusader defenders that found its way into the back of the goal, but the Sycamores could not find the equalizer the rest of the way.
“In the second half we got a little loose after we were up 2-0 and gave away a goal,” added Marovich.
Valpo finished the match with a 17-9 edge in shot attempts and held a 4-3 edge in corner kick opportunities. Mele Cabral (Boulder, Colo./Fairview H.S.) made three saves in goal for the Crusaders while Lahay made eight stops for Indiana State.
“Today I think the thing that stands out in the match is the fact we had 17 shots and 10 of them were on goal,” said Marovich. “It’s important we got two goals for the first time this year as well.”
Valparaiso, off to a 4-1 start for the first time ever, will look for its fourth straight victory on Friday afternoon as the Crusaders head to DeKalb, Ill. to battle Northern Illinois. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.
Match Notes: Valpo’s previous best start through five matches was 3-2 in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 seasons … the Crusaders are now 7-2 all-time against Indiana State and have won five straight meetings … Romberg’s assist on White’s goal marked her first collegiate helper and first college point … White’s match-winner was the third of her career and seventh career goal … Kondratko’s third goal of the season matches the junior’s career total entering this season.