For the second straight match, the Valpo women’s soccer team faced off against a Missouri Valley Conference co-leader and acquitted itself well, keeping it a one-goal match Wednesday evening in Chicago until Loyola found a second goal late in the match as the Ramblers earned a 2-0 victory.
How It Happened
- A slow first half in terms of shot opportunities on goal saw Loyola score on its first effort on frame. In the 28th minute, Simone Wark had the ball in the left-hand side of the box and sent a cross on the ground across the box that made its way to Lindsey Hardiman, who finished from the right side of the six-yard box inside the near post to give the Ramblers a 1-0 lead.
- The game would enter halftime at 1-0, as Valpo was unable to record a shot on goal in the first, while Valpo goalkeeper Kezia Gesell (Winnipeg, Man./Glenlawn Collegiate Institute) saved Loyola’s only other effort on frame.
- Valpo withstood an early flurry from Loyola to start the second half, and Gesell made four saves in the first 15 minutes of the period to keep the score at 1-0.
- Valpo had a solid chance to level the match in the 61st minute, but a shot from senior Maria Broecker (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) was corralled by a diving effort from Loyola goalkeeper Grace Droessler.
- The match remained 1-0 into the waning minutes, when Loyola took advantage of Valpo’s back line being pushed up in search of the equalizer in the 87th A ball over the top was corralled by Savanah Cruz, who crossed to Katharine Stephens for a tap-in to make it 2-0.
- It looked like Valpo had a good chance to make it a 2-1 scoreline with just under two minutes to play, as the Ramblers turned the ball over in the 18-yard box, but sophomore Katie Hansen (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East [Montana]) was met by a charging Droessler to turn away her one-on-one opportunity.
Inside the Match
- Loyola finished the match with a 18-5 advantage in shots over Valpo. The Ramblers placed seven shots on goal, five of which were saved by Gesell.
- Six of Valpo’s field players played the full 90 minutes on Wednesday.
- Freshman Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) has now played the entirety of the last eight matches. In fact, the only minutes Norfolk hasn’t played this season was a 19-minute stretch against Canisius on Sept. 8.
- Senior Ali Quillen (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) has gone the full 90 in seven consecutive matches, while sophomore Morgen Metzger (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) and freshman Natalie Graf (Williamsburg, Mich./St. Francis) have both gone the distance in Valpo’s last six matches.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“We put together another very solid performance tonight against a top team. Our players are competing and giving themselves a chance to get points every night.”
“I’m impressed with this team’s fight every match. Tonight, it was 1-0 until we conceded the second goal very late while trying to push to get the equalizer. These situations and experiences are exactly what this very young team needs to grow as players and individuals.”
Valpo (0-13-1, 0-4-0 MVC) faces off against Evansville at Brown Field Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and the match can be seen live on ESPN+.