The Valparaiso University women’s soccer team found a dramatic equalizer in the 88th minute Saturday night at Brown Field against Detroit Mercy to force extra time, but the Titans converted a penalty kick just seconds into the extra period to send the Crusaders to a 2-1 defeat.
How It Happened
- The teams played a relatively calm first half, with scoring chances hard to come by. The Crusaders out-shot the Titans 5-3 in the first 45 minutes.
- The Titans looked to take the lead in the 63rd minute, but redshirt junior Morgan Manzke (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) came up big, clearing a shot off the line. Detroit Mercy would score the opening goal just over a minute later, however, as Anna Mindling gained possession off a turnover, split defenders and hit a shot from 20 yards into the upper-right corner.
- With time winding down, the Crusaders found the back of the net off a set piece to level the match. A corner kick in the 88th minute was deflected on into the middle of the box, and redshirt freshman Ava Porlier (Downers Grove, Ill./South) nodded the ball along. Junior Grace Rogers (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) was there on the right-hand side of the box and knocked a looping header over Titan keeper Marina Manzo to make it a 1-1 game.
- But just seconds into extra time, the game would change again, as Crusader goalkeeper Tess Barrett (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) was shown a red card for a foul in the box as she came out to challenge a breakaway and took down the attacker. Rachel DeLuca stepped up for Detroit Mercy and went lower-left corner with the spot kick to give the Titans the win.
Inside the Match
- Rogers scored her first goal of the season and the second of her career – her first tally since Oct. 11, 2014. Porlier’s assist on the goal was the first of her career.
- Sophomore goalkeeper Drew Moulton (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) made her season debut following Barrett’s red card, entering to face the ensuing penalty kick.
- Detroit Mercy out-shot the Crusaders, 13-9, including an 8-4 edge in shots on goal. Barrett made five saves in goal for Valpo.
Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“It’s always great to see how players respond to adversity. Tonight, we battled back, never gave in and in doing so were able to find ourselves the late equalizer. It shows a lot of courage to continue to fight and find yourself that chance you need to level the game.”
“I think we handled the first 22 minutes of the game quite well. We were able to move the ball and create dangerous situations. In those moments, we need to find way to get a goal so that we can play from ahead instead of eventually having to come from behind.”
“Tonight’s a perfect example of the nature of competition in the Horizon League. You battle, you fight, you claw, you do whatever you can to pick up points. We did that to tie the game, and unfortunately in the end, we give away the penalty and drop points. Now we have to pick it up and look forward to Wednesday – another opportunity to earn points in league play.”
The Crusaders (5-6-0, 1-1-0 Horizon) close out the current homestand Wednesday evening at home at Brown Field versus Milwaukee. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Links for live coverage will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.