The Valparaiso women's soccer team was unable to come up with a result on the road in Horizon League action Wednesday night at Oakland, falling behind in the sixth minute in an eventual 2-0 loss to the Grizzlies.
The Golden Grizzlies got on the board in the sixth minute, on the first shot attempt by either side of the game, as Kyla Kellerman headed home a cross from Alice Palmer at close range. Valpo would place four of its five shots in the first half on goal, but all four of them were stopped by Oakland goalkeeper Payj O'Shea.
"It's very tough to get points on the road in the Horizon League, because it's such a great mid-major conference - one of the Midwest's best," said Crusader head coach John Marovich. "Every game is a battle in this league. Unfortunately, we gave up an early goal and had to chase the game a bit tonight. I felt like from the first half, we did come away with a couple good chances, but just couldn't put them away."
Oakland added an insurance goal off a counter following a Crusader restart in the 60th minute, as a challenge resulted in a two-on-one breakaway for the Grizzlies, one which Jamie Horne finished on an assist from Kellerman.
"A couple things didn't go our way in the second half tonight, but we put ourselves in the position where those decisions hurt us," said Marovich. "Again, though, the Horizon League is a quality league, and we now need to move forward to Saturday's game. We need to be focused on going out, being successful with our performance and trying to earn three points on Saturday."
Oakland (5-7-1, 1-2-0 Horizon) held a 13-10 advantage in shots over the Crusaders, but Valpo ended the game with a slight 6-5 advantage in shots on goal. O'Shea stopped all six shots in the shutout for the Grizzlies, while Kristen Manski (St. Charles, Ill./North) stopped three shots for the Crusaders. Valpo also had four of the evening's five corner kicks.
Valparaiso (7-5-1, 1-2-0 Horizon) returns home to take on Wright State in league action Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Links for live stats and free live video through the Horizon League Network will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.