Junior Lauren Torhorst (Waterford, Wis./Waterford Union) gave the Valpo women’s soccer team the lead Sunday afternoon against Evansville with a goal midway through the first half, and a strong team-wide effort kept the Purple Aces at bay the rest of the way, as Valpo came away from Brown Field with a 1-0 victory and a key three points in MVC play.
How It Happened
- Evansville had the first dangerous chance of the match in the seventh minute, as a shot from Emily Ormson following a corner kick rattled back off the crossbar.
- The first shot on goal of the match for either side came in the 25th minute, and it resulted in the lone goal of the fixture. It was a true team move for Valpo, as six different players touched the ball during the play, which saw the Brown and Gold move the ball not only from the back line into the attacking third, but also crossed the field from right to left as well.
- On the back end of the move, freshman Cierra Welch (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) slid the ball from the middle into the path of senior Maria Broecker (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester). Broecker took one touch and then sent a pass down the left for Torhorst, who one-timed it from the left side of the box, 15 yards out, inside the far post to give Valpo the lead.
- The two sides combined for just three shots the remainder of the half as Valpo carried the one-goal advantage into the intermission.
- Coming out of the break, Evansville looked to push forward, but that just allowed room for Valpo to generate attacks. Valpo tallied 12 second-half shots, five of which were on goal, and had a couple stellar opportunities.
- Freshman Kiley Dugan (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) was one on one in the box with Evansville goalkeeper Michaela Till in the 59th minute, but Till was able to parry Dugan’s chip attempt. The 78th minute saw another strong chance for the Brown and Gold off a corner kick, but sophomore Peyton Flynn (Poplar Grove, Ill./Belvidere North) had her shot cleared off the back line by a Purple Aces defender.
- The one goal proved to be more than enough, however, as Valpo dealt with Evansville’s second-half pressure spectacularly. Despite the Purple Aces pressing forward more in the second half, and throwing everyone forward in the match’s waning minutes, the Crusaders limited Evansville to just one shot attempt in the final 45 minutes – a curling shot from distance in the 77th minute that freshman Georgia Henkel (Houston, Texas/Stratford) easily corralled.
Inside the Match
- Valpo moved into a tie for sixth place in the MVC standings with Sunday’s victory, with just two match days remaining in the regular season. Six of the Valley’s eight teams make the postseason tournament.
- Valpo earned its first result against Evansville since joining the Valley, and its first win against the Purple Aces since 2006, as it was winless in its last six in the series.
- Torhorst scored her team-best third goal of the year and now owns five career goals. It was the first career match-winner for the junior, however.
- Broecker’s assist was her first point of the season. The senior now has five career assists, four of which have come within MVC play – all four coming in wins or draws.
- Welch picked up her first career point with the secondary assist on Torhorst’s goal.
- Henkel registered her first career clean sheet with the shutout, having to make just the one second-half save to keep Evansville off the board.
- Valpo tallied a season-high 18 shot attempts on Sunday while limiting Evansville – which entered the match averaging 12.5 shots/match in its first four MVC matches – to just four shots.
- In what has been a theme for much of the season, it was an extremely young side which took the field on Sunday, as Valpo’s starting XI featured six freshmen and eight underclassmen in all.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“I’m super proud of this group today – not because of the result, but because they stayed the course and handled today the same as every other match. Our development has been great, and with our conference matches coming into today, we have been right there. We’ve gotten to the finish line against the conference’s top teams, and I think those battles paid off today.”
“In and around the attacking third, we were much better today and created a lot more service into the box. The overall combination which got us our goal was some very good soccer – six different players were in on the move, and it was exciting to see that development and growth come to fruition with that goal.”
“The game always asks for someone to step up in the critical moments, and that’s what LT did for us today with her goal. I also was especially happy with Lauren Yoder’s shift off the bench in the final 20-plus minutes of the first half.”
“It was a great overall performance today, and three points well earned. Now, we have to handle this the same way we’ve handled our other results this year. It’s about our development and growth, and taking measures to make sure we take another step forward next time out with a tough road match at Drake.”
Valpo (1-13-1, 1-4-0 MVC) faces its final regular-season road test of the year next Saturday at Drake. Game time will be 4 p.m., and the match will be contested at Urbandale H.S. in Urbandale, Iowa.