The Valparaiso women's soccer team got a 75th minute goal from senior Luisa Desario (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) on Sunday afternoon at Iowa, but it only served as a late consolation tally, as the Crusaders fell by a 3-1 count to the host Hawkeyes.
Valpo played through the first 45 minutes even in shot attempts with Iowa, as both sides registered eight shots apiece in the first half. But it was the Hawkeyes who went into the break with a 2-0 advantage on the scoreline. Melanie Pickert struck a free kick from 25 yards out that went in the upper 90 off the post in the 5th minute to give Iowa the early 1-0 lead, and Cloe Lacasse added a second goal in the 24th minute after a Crusader turnover in the defensive end. The Crusaders poured the pressure on in the final five minutes of the half, recording four shots, but could not push one into the back of the net.
"Our first 45 minutes, I thought we played very well and don't think the score line necessarily reflected the performance," said Crusader head coach John Marovich. "Their player hit a fantastic shot on the set piece for their first goal, and then we made an error in the back that gave them an easy finish. Outside of that, we had really good possession in the first half, we had as many shot attempts as they did - it was a pretty quality half from us."
The second half saw the Crusaders chasing the game for the most part, as Iowa out-shot Valpo, 17-3. The Hawkeyes added their third goal in the 63rd minute, as Dana Dalrymple converted an effort inside the six-yard box off a feed from Jade Grimm. Desario snatched the consolation goal in the 75th minute, gaining possession following an Iowa turnover and beating goalkeeper Hannah Clark.
"The second half, we weren't able to keep the same possession," said Marovich. "We gave too many balls away and started to chase the game. But we did a good job continuing to fight and we eventually were able to pull one back."
For the game, the Crusaders tallied 11 shots, four of which were on goal, while Iowa had 25 efforts, 11 on frame. Junior goalkeeper Kristen Manski (Saint Charles, Ill./North) matched her career high with eight saves, while Iowa starter Meg Goodson stopped two shots and Clark, who entered at halftime, made one save.
"I thought both goalkeepers really matched each other today," said Marovich. "Kristen made a pair of really nice saves for us, and then their goalkeeper made two good saves as well. I think the first half really shows us how we've grown over the last three weeks. We found out a lot about our players and saw some players who are really starting to find their rhythm on the field."
Valparaiso (2-2-1) returns home for a pair of matches next weekend, kicking off with a Friday night showdown against Western Michigan at Brown Field. The game will be video streamed live through the Horizon League Network and available locally on the radio on WVUR (95.1 FM). Links for the live video and audio, as well as live stats, will be available through www.valpoathletics.com.