The Valparaiso University women’s soccer team closed out its non-league schedule on Sunday in victorious fashion, getting a golden goal from sophomore Cory Griffith (Lemont, Ill./Providence Catholic) in the 105th minute to defeat Morehead State at Brown Field, 2-1. The win came on Senior Day for the Crusaders, as seven members of the senior class were honored prior to the game, and with the victory, head coach John Marovich moved into a tie atop the Crusader record books as the winningest coach in program history.
How It Happened
- Senior April Cronin (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) got the Crusaders on the board late in the first half in the 38th minute. Cronin carried the ball herself over 35 yards, running at the Morehead State defense through the attacking third, and got to the corner of the six-yard box, where she kept an effort low to the ground inside the far post for her sixth goal of the season.
- Shelby Huddleston equalized for the Eagles in the 74th minute, running down the left side onto a pass from Angela Black and knocking it home just underneath the crossbar to make it 1-1. Despite a number of quality scoring chances both ways in the second half, that proved to be the period’s only goal, as the Crusaders and Eagles went to extra time.
- Nearing the halfway point of the second period of extra time, the Crusaders found the golden goal. Again, the attack was spearheaded by Cronin, who ran at the defense down the left-hand side. Cronin sent a cross into the center of the box, where it eluded a Morehead State defender and found Griffith’s foot. The sophomore calmly tucked it away to give Valpo the win.
Inside the Game
- Prior to the game, the seven members of this year’s senior class – Cronin, Vanesa Abad ( Barrington, Ill./ Lake Zurich [Ohio State]), Kelsie Bolerjack (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville), Krista Carlson (Cherry Valley, Ill./Rockford Lutheran), Danielle DeSciscio (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton), Michelle Mottonen (South Barrington, Ill./Fremd [TCU]) and Robin Wenzel (Woodstock, Ill./Marian Central Catholic) – were honored during Senior Day ceremonies.
- All seven members of this senior class were in the starting lineup on Sunday. For Bolerjack, Carlson and DeSciscio, Sunday’s starting assignment was the first of their respective careers.
- Marovich earned his 78th win at the helm of the Crusader women’s soccer program, moving him into a tie with his predecessor, Stephen Anthony, for most wins by a head coach in program history. Marovich (78-57-27) reached the mark in 30 fewer matches than Anthony.
- Cronin’s goal to open the scoring moved her into second place by herself in program history in career points. Adding in the assist on the match-winner, Cronin now has tallied 54 career points on 23 goals and eight assists.
- Griffith found the back of the net for the third time this season and recorded her second match-winner of the year.
- Freshman Tess Barrett (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) earned the win in goal for the Crusaders, making five saves while limiting Morehead State to one goal.
- The Crusaders finished the match with a 22-12 advantage in shots over the Eagles and put 10 shots on goal to Morehead State’s six. Valpo also earned six of the match’s eight corner kicks.
Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“I’m happy that we were able to get the results for our seniors today. It’s always really important to us to get a result on Senior Day!”
“We created several dangerous opportunities on set pieces very early in the match, which is a result of work during the week of preparation. It was great to see the execution, but we just couldn’t get that last touch past the keeper.”
“Once we conceded the goal to halve the match, it was good to see our players respond positively to adversity and continue to battle and create goal-scoring opportunities. That persistence paid off as we got the winning goal in overtime from that pressing mentality.”
The Crusaders (5-5-0) return to Horizon League play for the duration of the regular season, starting Saturday night when they host Detroit at Brown Field. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., and the game can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Links for the live video and live stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.