Valparaiso (5-4-1, 2-0-0 MVC)
Wednesday, Sept. 29 - Southern Illinois (0-9-1, 0-2-0 MVC) - 7:30 p.m.
Next Up in Valpo Soccer: With six points already in its back pocket from the first two games of the MVC schedule, the Valpo soccer team looks to make it nine points from three matches Wednesday evening as it welcomes Southern Illinois to Brown Field.
Previously: Extra time in Terre Haute. Last spring, it was the MVC Tournament semifinal match. Friday, it was a regular season matchup. In any case, the result was the same — a golden goal from sophomore Lindsey DuSatko to give the Valpo soccer team a 1-0 victory at Indiana State. Dana Fish and Nicole Norfolk picked up the assists on Dusatko’s 95th-minute match-winner as Valpo won its third straight contest.
Looking Ahead: The Beacons make the longest trip of the MVC slate, traveling to Springfield, Mo. to face Missouri State on Sunday, Oct. 3.
Following the Beacons: Wednesday’s match will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and will have live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com. All remaining home matches and select road matches will be carried live on The Valley on ESPN.
Head Coach John Marovich: In his 14th season at the helm of the Valpo program, John Marovich holds a 108-103-37 (.510) record both overall and at Valpo as a head coach. The 2014 Horizon League Coach of the Year, Marovich holds Valpo’s all-time records for both victories and winning percentage.
Series Notes: Valpo and SIU have met just once on the pitch as the Salukis played their first collegiate season in 2019 and played an MVC schedule for the first time in the spring of 2021. The matchup in Carbondale back on February 28 ended in a 0-0 draw, with Valpo out-shooting the Salukis by an 11-6 margin.
Scouting the Opposition: SIU enters Wednesday’s match at 0-9-1 this fall and has fallen in its first two MVC matches of the schedule, 3-0 to Missouri State and 2-1 at Illinois State. The Salukis have been outscored 29-4 so far this season, with four different players finding the back of the net. Maddy Alaluf has seen the lion’s share of action in goal and owns a 2.24 GAA.
Valpo Picked Fourth in Preseason Poll: Valpo has been chosen to finish in fourth place in the MVC this fall in preseason polling of the conference’s head coaches. Valpo racked up 51 points in the polling — including one first-place vote — to come in fourth position. Loyola claimed the rest of the first-place votes to top the poll, while Illinois State and Indiana State were picked just in front of the Beacons. Valpo was 13 points clear of Missouri State and UNI, who tied for fifth place. Valpo also boasted a trio of preseason All-MVC honorees: Nikki Coryell (First Team), Kiley Dugan (First Team) and Kelsie James (Honorable Mention).
Looking Back at Last Season: Valpo enjoyed a strong spring 2021 campaign, posting its best regular-season finish since joining the MVC (third place) and advancing to the title match of the MVC Tournament for the first time. Valpo finished with a 5-4-5 overall record, a seven-game improvement from its record the previous season — the third-best year-over-year improvement in the nation. Freshman Nikki Coryell was the MVC Goalkeeper of the Year and was joined on the All-MVC First Team by senior defender Keegan Maris and sophomore forward Kiley Dugan - Second Team and Third Team All-Region honorees, respectively.
Who’s Back and Who’s New: Valpo returns 12 letterwinners from the spring 2021 campaign, eight of whom were regulars in the starting XI last season and six of whom found the back of the net in the spring. Joining the 12 letterwinners, as well as five other returnees, on this year’s team are two transfers and 10 freshmen.
Starting Out With Six Points: With 1-0 wins over Illinois State and Indiana State in its first two MVC fixtures of the season, Valpo has claimed all six possible points. It is the first time the program has started conference play with wins in each of its first two matches since the 2014 Horizon League season, when it went on to post a perfect 8-0-0 mark in league play. Perhaps most impressively, the two wins to open conference play have come against two of the three sides picked ahead of the Beacons in the preseason poll.
WWW: The win at Indiana State was Valpo’s third consecutive victory, giving the program its first three-match winning streak since the 2014 campaign, when it won 12 in a row as part of the best season in program history. Included in that winning streak was the last time before this season that Valpo won consecutive matches by 1-0 finals, as it did so that year against Milwaukee (Oct. 22) and Detroit (Oct. 25) to secure the Horizon League regular season title.
Three Straight Clean Sheets: Not only have the Beacons won three straight matches, they have posted shutouts in each of the wins, victories over Chicago State (3-0), Illinois State (1-0) and Indiana State (1-0). Valpo last posted three consecutive clean sheets in April of this year, when it registered shutouts in the regular season finale and its first two MVC Tournament contests. The last time Valpo recorded clean sheets in three straight victories was way back in September 2012.
DuSatko Does It Again: At this rate, sophomore Lindsey DuSatko is going to end up on Terre Haute’s Most Wanted list. For the second time in as many matches at Indiana State, DuSatko came up with a match-winning goal in extra time of a 1-0 victory - the first time coming in this past spring’s MVC Tournament semifinal match. DuSatko now owns three career goals in as many matches against the Sycamores.
Earning Honors: DuSatko was recognized as the MVC Player of the Week for her match-winner at Indiana State, but she wasn’t the only Beacon to earn weekly honors, as junior Nicole Norfolk was named MVC Defensive Player of the Week after helping to limit the Sycamores to four shot attempts over 95 minutes and earning the secondary assist on DuSatko’s goal. Valpo has now had five different players receive weekly awards from the MVC this season - sophomore Kelsie James previously earned the Player of the Week honor, while rookies Dana Fish and Abby White have been named the MVC Freshman of the Week.
A Season of Firsts: Both Norfolk and Fish recorded their first career assist on the match-winner at Indiana State, continuing a trend for the Beacons this season. Six of Valpo’s eight goal scorers this season entered the year without a collegiate goal, while five of eight players who have tallied an assist did so for the first time.
Finding Goal Scorers: Valpo has had eight different players who have found the back of the net at least once this season - the program’s highest number of goal scorers in one season since the 2017 team had 10 goal scorers. Interestingly, in a 21-season stretch from 1997 through 2017, Valpo had somewhere between seven and 10 goal scorers in every season but two: the 2004 side had 13 players score a goal, while the 2006 team saw 14 players put at least one away.
Always in the XI: Four players have started each of the season’s first 10 matches: Kiley Dugan, Nicole Norfolk, Allie Anderson and Abby White. In their third season in the Valpo uniform, Dugan and Norfolk have both started all 42 matches since stepping on campus.
Streak Comes to a Close: Junior defender Nicole Norfolk earned a well-deserved rest late in the St. Bonaventure match. Leading by three goals, John Marovich subbed Norfolk out in the 83rd minute, ending her streak of consecutive minutes played since stepping on campus at 3,591 straight minutes. She played all 1,659 minutes in 2019 as a freshman, played 1,379 minutes during the spring 2021 campaign and was at 553 straight minutes this season before coming off the park. Norfolk surpassed Tracy Roos’ mark of 3,413 consecutive minutes played (2009-11), the previous known program record for consecutive minutes played by a Valpo field player, late in the game at Robert Morris.