Valparaiso University senior April Cronin (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) became just the fifth player in program history to net a hat trick and the first player since Brittany Derksen and Kendall Brown did so in 2005, capping her three-goal performance Sunday afternoon with a golden goal in the 105th minute to give the Crusaders a 3-2, come-from-behind victory at Loyola.
How It Happened
- It was Valpo controlling the game early, recording eight shots in the opening 18 minutes – including two on goal and another that ricocheted off the goal post – but it was Loyola which claimed the lead, as Avalon Senn-Raemont found the back of the net in the 26th minute.
- For the second time in as many games, junior Grace Rogers (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) picked up an assist on a long free kick – this time sending a ball into the box from 30 yards out in the 63rd minute that Cronin headed in to make it a 1-1 game.
- Loyola responded just over two minutes later to reclaim the lead, but Cronin again leveled the game with a dramatic equalizer in the 84th minute. Rogers set up Cronin for another header, and the senior finished over the charging Loyola goalkeeper inside the near post.
- The Ramblers had a shot hit the post in the 89th minute and another effort on goal in the 90th minute, but couldn’t convert as the game went into extra time.
- After neither side had a shot on target in the first overtime period, both squads had an early shot on goal in the second extra session before Cronin netted the golden goal. The senior came down the left side, dribbling past her defender into the box, and beat the goalkeeper inside the far post to complete her hat trick.
Inside the Game
- Cronin’s hat trick was just the fifth in Crusader program history, and the first since 2005. Cronin joins Beth Muskovich (at DePaul, 1996), Jenna Lawes (at Saint Mary’s [Ind.]), 1997), Brittany Derksen (Lipscomb, 2005) and Kendall Brown (at Cleveland State, 2005) as Valpo players who have scored three goals in one game.
- It marked the first multi-goal game of Cronin’s career, as her previous 17 goals had come in 17 separate games. With 20 career goals, Cronin is now tied with Brown for third in program history in the category – just one shy of Emily King in second position.
- Rogers now owns seven career assists, having tallied two in each of her first two seasons before picking up three helpers over the weekend's two victories.
- Senior Sydney Galvez-Daley (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick [Creighton]) made four saves in goal before having to be taken off following a Loyola foul in the 78th minute. Redshirt freshman Tess Barrett (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) was called on to make her debut and stopped three shots to earn the victory.
- 17 field players saw action for the Crusaders Sunday on the back end of a two-match weekend, with four Valpo players going the full 105 minutes, including Natalia Kontul (Solon, Ohio/Solon) – who has played each and every minute of the first four games of the year.
Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“I’m extremely proud of this group for battling back today, not just once but twice. Those moments of adversity, when met with consistent and tireless effort regardless of situation, produce opportunities. Our entire team, from April’s hat trick to Tess stepping up in goal to the bench for constant support, lived the culture we want. Our result is a complete team effort and couldn’t have been achieved without everyone having belief of purpose.”
“We had a positive and good start to the match, creating many dangerous situations. I’m pleased with the attacking ideas and we executed the tactical plan early. We must continue to work on the final touch in the box so we can produce goals for the movement in the attacking third.”
“April capitalized on her opportunities today. Her game-winner was her taking the leadership role and responsibility to get the team a result. Her team battled for so long and so hard today, that it was great to see her burst of energy late to recognize and reward their effort.”
“Beyond April, it was nice to see many others making positive contributions today. Cory Griffith followed her two-goal performance on Friday with five shots today, and Michelle Mottonen was a strong attacking presence as well. The back line and midfield were integral to our success as well, challenging every 50/50 ball and working to win second balls.”
The Crusaders (2-2-0) travel to Lincoln, Neb. for the Cornhusker Classic next weekend. Valpo will take on Saint Louis on Friday and Kansas on Sunday.