For the second time this season, senior Ava Porlier (Downers Grove, Ill./South) struck for a match-winning goal with less than 10 minutes to play, this time heading home a corner kick from senior Natalia Kontul (Solon, Ohio/Solon) in the 87th minute to give the Valparaiso University women’s soccer team a 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon at IUPUI.
How It Happened
- Valpo peppered IUPUI on the attack early and often on Sunday, tallying eight shot attempts over the first 28 minutes and forcing Jaguar goalkeeper Sophia Lipka to make a pair of saves. IUPUI registered just one shot attempt over the same span.
- The constant pressure finally paid off for Valpo in the 30th minute as a trio of seniors hooked up to open the scoring. Kelsey Jahn (Oregon, Wis./Oregon) played Kontul down the right sideline. Kontul sent a cross from 30 yards out into the center of the box, where Cory Griffith (Lemont, Ill./Providence Catholic) came across unmarked and placed a header from 10 yards inside the right post to give Valpo the 1-0 lead.
- Valpo looked poised to double its lead on a pair of occasions on either side of halftime, but both an Ali Quillen (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) header in the 44th minute and an effort from Sydney Griffin (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central [New Hampshire]) were cleared off the back line by IUPUI defenders.
- The Jaguars leveled the match in the 71st minute. A cross from the left eluded Kezia Gesell (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Glenlawn Collegiate Institute), who came off her line in an effort to corral it, and IUPUI’s Jessica Flores gave it a soft redirect in the box that was just enough to elude a Valpo clearance effort.
- But that just proved to set the stage for Porlier’s second late match-winner of the year. Valpo earned a corner kick thanks to a push forward from junior Maria Broecker (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) in the center of the park. Broecker took the ball herself for about 25 yards before sending a pass down the right towards Griffin in a dangerous spot, forcing the IUPUI back to just put the ball out for a corner.
- Kontul stepped forward to take the corner and delivered a ball low to the ground. Porlier ran onto it and neatly headed it inside the near post for the decisive tally, sending Valpo home victorious.
Inside the Match
- Valpo snapped a two-match losing streak with Sunday’s win and will head into its MVC opener coming off a win. It’s the first time the Brown and Gold will enter league play following a victory since 2014.
- Valpo improved to 12-4-4 against IUPUI, the third-most common opponent in program history, with Sunday’s victory. The Crusaders and Jaguars have met every season since 1998, with the exception of the 2015 campaign.
- Porlier’s goal was the fourth of her career and second of the season. The senior tallied twice in 2016 at Western Michigan before her pair of match-winning goals this season against Green Bay and IUPUI.
- Kontul became the second Valpo player with a two-assist game this year, joining Griffin, who did so earlier this season in the win over Robert Morris. The senior now owns seven career assists.
- Jahn picked up her fourth career assist and her first since assisting on the match-winning goal against IUPUI at Brown Field last season.
- Griffith increased her MVC-best goal tally to six thus far in 2018 when she opened the scoring on Sunday. The senior has recorded 27 career goals and registered 60 career points, just one shy of second on Valpo’s career points chart.
- Valpo out-shot IUPUI 24-9 on Sunday afternoon and put nine shots on goal to the Jaguars’ three. Gesell made a pair of saves in goal for the Brown and Gold to earn her second win of the season.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
"Our group had a solid mentality in our defensive pressure and intensity. We used this to generate our attack today, and it paid off, as we had some really outstanding pressure in the final third."
"Natalia did an outstanding job for us today. Not only did she provide assists on both goals, but she was very disciplined defensively for 90 minutes as well."
"We had several players really step up and accomplish tasks today that they have been working on all season. I'm really happy for them and for the team to get rewarded for their mindset today."
Valpo (3-4-1) opens MVC play at Brown Field against defending conference regular season champion Drake next Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN+.