On a hot summer afternoon in Greeley, Colo., the Valpo soccer team took the lead over Northern Colorado on Sunday late in the first half on a goal from sophomore Dana Fish (Sheboygan, Wis./Sheboygan North). But the Bears countered with a goal of their own early in the second half to complete the scoring as the Beacons came away from the back half of their road trip with a 1-1 draw.
How It Happened
- Valpo had the better of play for most of the first half, and with that came a number of strong chances at goal. One of the best came in the 19th minute, as senior Kiley Dugan (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) nutmegged her defender on the end line and took a sharp-angle shot at UNC goalkeeper Kaya Lindberg. Lindberg parried it away, but the Bears couldn’t clear and Abby White (Commerce Township, Pa./Walled Lake Central) had a clean look from the top of the box that went over the crossbar.
- The Beacons ended up with eight attempts at goal in the opening 45 minutes and made the final one count to give them a 1-0 lead at intermission. Senior Allie Anderson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South [Xavier]) took a corner kick from the right-side flag and put it expertly inside the six-yard box. Fish out-leapt everyone else and headed it up into the upper-left corner of the woodwork, where it ricocheted down across the line to give Valpo the edge.
- Less than six minutes out of halftime, however, Northern Colorado struck back with a quick, direct ball downfield. Lauren Woodhull outpaced the defender to get herself one-on-one with Valpo keeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley). Coryell was able to save Woodhull’s first effort, but the follow-up found the back of the net.
- Coryell kept the scoreline level with a nice leaping save in the 76th Valpo put the pressure on the Bears in the game’s final minutes, getting numerous pushes into the attacking third and getting shots off, but was unable to find the match-winner.
Inside the Match
- Sunday’s draw was Valpo’s second of the season in its first four matches.
- Fish’s goal came in just her second reserve appearance of the year. She has four career goals, all of which have come from off the bench.
- Anderson tallied her third assist in a Valpo uniform and the fourth overall of her collegiate career.
- Valpo out-shot UNC 15-11 and put eight of its efforts on goal to the Bears’ three.
- The Beacons continue to feature consistency in their starting XI, as eight players have started each of the season’s first four matches. Dugan and Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) have now started all 54 matches of their respective careers, while White is up to 22 straight starts since the start of her Valpo career.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
"I think it’s unfortunate today that we don’t get a result. We had a number of really good looks — their goalkeeper made a couple of big saves, and there were a couple opportunities we narrowly missed on. My takeaway today is we’re continuing to produce the kind of opportunities we need to produce. If we do that long term, more often than not they’re going to go in and we’re going to put goals on the board.”
“We went up 1-0, but then we had one instance where we took some pressure, turned the ball over in our half and got counter-attacked. We were continuing to be aggressive, and that’s how we have to continue to play in that scenario — I don’t want us to just sit back and try to defend a 1-0 lead with 45 minutes to play. We just got caught on the counter in that instance, and learned some lessons from that.”
“The way we progressed today, the way we played again is what I want to see out of this group. I’m proud of how we played, even though it didn’t end up with a win today, and we have to keep our focus on continuing to play our game as we move forward into next weekend.”
Valpo (1-1-2) makes a brief return home to Brown Field on Friday evening when it hosts Chicago State under the lights. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m., and the match can be seen live on ESPN+.