Two late second-half goals from redshirt freshman Ava Porlier (Downers Grove, Ill./South) erased a two-goal deficit as the Valparaiso University women’s soccer team forced extra time Sunday afternoon at regionally-ranked Western Michigan, but the Broncos struck with a 94th minute goal to send the Crusaders to a 3-2 defeat.
How It Happened
- WMU struck early with a Liz Abro goal in the 11th minute to go ahead 1-0. Less than two minutes into the second half, the Broncos found the back of the net again, as Mackenzie Barber stuck one in from close range to double their lead.
- In the 79th minute, the Crusaders cut the deficit in half. Redshirt freshman Natalia Kontul (Solon, Ohio/Solon) took a corner kick and found her classmate Porlier, who headed it home to make it a 2-1 game.
- Less than five minutes later, Porlier played the role of hero to force extra time, knocking an effort off a feed from Cory Griffith (Lemont, Ill./Providence Catholic) into the lower-right corner of the goal in the 84th minute to tie the game at 2-2 and force extra time.
- But the Broncos found the golden goal in extra time, as Mackenzie Barber knocked a rebound over the goal line in the 94th minute to close out the WMU win.
Inside the Game
- WMU was the second regionally-ranked foe the Crusaders have faced this season, following Saint Louis – both games have ended in one –goal losses for Valpo.
- Porlier is the third different Crusader to register a brace this year, joining Griffith and senior April Cronin. Porlier’s two goals accounted for the first two goals of her career.
- Kontul’s helper on the Crusaders’ first goal marked her first career point.
- Sunday was the second time this season Valpo has forced overtime with a late second-half goal – the Crusaders also tied their fixture at Loyola in the 84th minute before going on the defeat the Ramblers.
Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“This was yet another game against a regionally ranked opponent on the road. WMU has a talented team, and already owns a 2-0 win over a Big Ten opponent this year.”
“We played a system today which would give us numbers in the midfield to help regain possession. But unfortunately, early on, we didn’t connect after winning possession to allow us to release pressure. However, as the half went on, we were able to find our possession and move the ball into attacking situations.”
“The second half was better at finding the right combinations in the attacking third, giving Tahelah Noel a couple of good looks at goal. It’s always great to see the players make the small adjustments out of halftime.”
“I liked our team’s continued fight and pressing late. Ava was able to find the first goal with her head off a corner, and then took a solid first-time finish off a great cross for the second goal to level the game. We gave ourselves a couple of looks late, but couldn’t finish it off.”
The Crusaders (3-5-0) open Horizon League play Friday evening, Sept. 16, at Cleveland State with a 6 p.m. CT kickoff. The game can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with links for the live video and live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.