Coming off an 11-day layoff from competition and facing an early deficit, the Valpo soccer team battled back through a set-piece goal from senior Chase Ray (Bellevue, Ohio/Bellevue) to level the match at Evansville, but despite enjoying the better of the second half, the Beacons were unable to pull ahead as Thursday night’s fixture ended in a 1-1 draw.
How It Happened
- The Purple Aces took advantage of a corner kick in the fifth minute, as the ball bounced around in the box before finding the foot of Chrysta Vasquez, who put it in the back of the net from eight yards out to give Evansville the early edge.
- Valpo grew into the game throughout the first half and started to assert itself in the final half of the opening period, resulting in a number of dangerous attacks and finally the equalizer. A corner kick in the 37th minute was taken by junior Abby White (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Central), sent towards the far post where Ray got her head on it, nodding it back across goal and home to tie the match at 1-1 — which remained the halftime scoreline.
- The second half was all Beacons, as Valpo dominated the possession and the opportunities as it searched for the go-ahead goal. The Beacons looked destined to have a tap-in goal in the 66th minute as junior Dana Fish (Sheboygan, Wis./Sheboygan North) cut a ball back across goal with the Evansville keeper out of position, but a Purple Aces defender was able to clear it away.
- Meanwhile, Valpo limited the Evansville attack to very few chances in the second half, but one of them forced senior goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) to step up with a big stop. Evansville’s Taylor Johnson got in behind the back line in the 69th minute for a 1-v-1 chance, but Coryell came off her line to parry Johnson’s effort from 12 yards out to the right to keep it a 1-1 match.
- Valpo kept the pressure on late in search for the winning goal, with its best chance coming in the 83rd minute when senior Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North) got position running down the right wing and cutting in toward goal, but her effort from inside the box was turned away by Myia Danek.
Inside the Match
- Thursday’s draw marked the fourth straight season Valpo has started the conference campaign with at least a point.
- Valpo has surrendered one goal or fewer in 26 of 27 MVC regular season matches since the start of the spring 2021 season.
- Playing in her 57th career match in the Brown and Gold, Ray tallied her first collegiate goal on Thursday. She is the seventh different goal scorer for the Beacons this year.
- Through 42 collegiate matches, White had not picked up an assist, but the junior has now registered helpers in consecutive fixtures as she earned the assist on Ray’s goal Thursday.
- Coryell’s impressive save in the second half proved to be her lone save on the night. The senior and the Valpo defense have given up more than one goal just once in nine matches this season.
- Valpo finished the evening with a 10-5 advantage in shots and attempted six of the match’s eight corner kicks.
Valpo (4-2-3, 0-0-1 MVC) concludes a stretch of five consecutive road matches on Sunday afternoon at noon CT with a visit to Indiana State. The match can be seen live on ESPN+.