Valpo In The Valley: Women's Soccer
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Valpo In The Valley: Women's Soccer

MVC Women’s Soccer

The addition of Valparaiso University to the Missouri Valley Conference gives the MVC eight institutions which sponsor women’s soccer. Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Loyola, Missouri State, UNI and Valpo will compete in women’s soccer during the 2017 season.

Did You Know?

The Valpo women’s soccer program is the only Crusader team which has previously been a member of The Valley. In the early years of the program, the Crusaders were affiliate members of the MVC for three seasons from 1996-1998.

A Look Back at 2016

MVC Regular Season

Team MVC (Pts.) Overall

Illinois State

5-0-1 (16)



3-2-1 (10)



2-2-2 (8)


Indiana State

2-3-1 (7)



2-3-1 (7)



2-4-0 (6)


Missouri State

1-3-2 (5)


MVC Championship

Nov. 6, 2016 – Normal, Ill. – Illinois State 2, Evansville 1

NCAA Tournament

Nov. 12, 2016 – Ann Arbor, Mich. – Illinois State 2, Michigan 2 (Illinois State advances on PKs, 5-4)

Nov. 18, 2016 – Durham, N.C. - #14 Duke 3, Illinois State 1


The Crusaders are coming off of a 9-10-0 record in 2016, including a 5-4-0 mark within Horizon League play – good for a tie for fourth place. April Cronin closed out her stellar career with team highs of eight goals, five assists, and 21 points, departing Valpo second in program history in career goals and points and third in assists.

Leading the returnees on the attack is rising junior Cory Griffith, who struck for seven goals and three assists as a sophomore. Five of Griffith’s seven tallies were match-winners, setting a new Valpo single-season record. In goal, rising sophomore Tess Barrett saw the majority of action last season and finished the year with a 1.17 GAA – the eighth-best single-season mark in Crusader history.

The Valley on the National Stage

Illinois State’s advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season continued a run of success for the Redbirds. The last three times Illinois State has reached the NCAA Tournament, it has moved on to the second round of play.

In 2014, the Redbirds defeated South Florida, 3-2, in Tampa in the first round. The previous season saw Illinois State draw with Louisville, 1-1, in the first round and advance on penalty kicks, 4-3.

Illinois State also boasts The Valley’s most recent All-American selection, as Rachel Tejada was named an NSCAA Second Team All-American in 2014.

Valpo Versus The Valley

The Crusaders faced just one MVC opponent last year, making the short trip to Chicago to face Loyola on Aug. 28. April Cronin netted just the fifth hat trick in program history in that game, forcing extra time with a goal in the 84th minute and striking for the golden goal in the 105th minute in a 3-2 Valpo victory.

Last season’s win over the Ramblers marked the fifth time in the last six meetings – dating back to 2011 – that Valpo has earned a result against Loyola, as the Crusaders are 4-1-1 in that stretch against their regional rival.

Outside of Loyola, Valpo’s most recent matchup against an opponent from The Valley came in 2014, when the Crusaders battled to a scoreless draw against Evansville on Brown Field. Valpo has earned seven straight results in its series with Indiana State, including most recently a 1-1 draw in Terre Haute in 2010, while the Crusaders also earned a win in their last showdown with UNI in 2007.

Looking Ahead to 2017

With eight teams in the conference, The Valley will conduct a single round-robin regular season schedule.

The top six teams in the regular season conference standings will advance to the conference tournament. The top two seeds earn a spot in the tournament semifinals, while the third through sixth seeds compete in first-round matches on campus sites on Oct. 29. Missouri State will host the semifinals on Nov. 3, with the conference championship match slated for Nov. 5.