For the fifth time in the season’s first six matches, the Valpo soccer team held its opponent to one goal or fewer, but a late-first half goal from visiting Loyola proved to be the deciding tally as the Ramblers came away from Brown Field with a 1-0 win Saturday.
How It Happened
- The Valpo defense limited Loyola’s efforts at goal for the most part in the first half, as the Ramblers held just a 7-1 edge in shots in the opening 45 minutes. Freshman Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) had Valpo’s shot, putting an effort high in the 18th minute.
- Senior Keegan Maris (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) kept the scoreline clean as she cleared a Loyola shot off the goal line in the 20th minute.
- It looked like the game might head into intermission scoreless, but Loyola’s Madeleine Barone found the back of the net in the 41st minute to give the Ramblers the lead.
- Goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) and the Valpo defense held firm against a staunch Loyola attack in the second 45 minutes, as despite the Ramblers tallying 16 shots, they would not add to their side of the scoreboard. A shot in the 78th minute rang off the crossbar, while Coryell made two strong stops on 1-v-1 opportunities in the final 10 minutes to keep it a one-goal game.
- The one goal proved to be enough, however. Valpo did not record a shot in the second half, and was unable to take advantage of corner kicks in the 52nd and 87th minutes.
Inside the Match
- The loss was the fourth straight by Valpo in the series. The current four-match winning streak by Loyola was immediately preceded by four consecutive Valpo wins.
- Saturday’s match was against a Loyola side which was picked to win the MVC in the conference’s preseason poll.
- Loyola out-shot Valpo 23-1 and put eight efforts on goal. Coryell made six saves in addition to Maris’ team save.
- The Ramblers also earned 11 corner kicks in the contest versus just two for Valpo.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
"Our mentality today wasn't to sit in and just get a point. We wanted to come in, challenge ourselves and play to try to win the game and put Loyola under some stress. I thought we really did a good job of that in the first half, especially the first 30 minutes, but weren't able to sustain that for a full 90. In the second half, we started to defend players instead of space, and that made the game more 1-v-1 than we wanted it to be."
"I'm proud of our players, because what we learned today is invaluable. We stepped up and went after the game, and I think you grow so much more as a young group by doing that. Now the next step is to take what we learned today - both from what we did well and from what didn't go well - and use it to continue to move forward as we move into next week and start to prepare for Drake."
Valpo (2-2-2, 1-1-1 MVC) closes out its current three-match homestand at Brown Field under the lights at 6 p.m. Friday evening, March 19 against Drake. The match will be broadcast live on The Valley on ESPN.