The Valpo soccer team picked up another point in Missouri Valley Conference action on Friday evening at Brown Field, peppering 15 shots on goal in a 1-1 double-overtime draw with Drake.
How It Happened
- A back and forth start to the match saw Drake attempt eight shots in the first 22 minutes, but many of those efforts were low-threat efforts from distance.
- The Valpo defense limited the Bulldogs to just two shots in the second half of the first period, while a pair of shots on goal offensively were turned away by Drake goalkeeper Kelsie Stone as the game went into intermission scoreless.
- Valpo came out on the front foot in the second half with aggressive pushes forward, resulting in a number of quality chances.
- In the 56th minute, junior Alexis Gaffney (Broomfield, Colo./Legacy) turned with the ball on her right foot in the box and unleashed a shot which Stone made a strong save on.
- In the 62nd minute, freshman Cassidy Eckstein (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) tried her luck from 30 yards out and nearly put Valpo on top, ringing her effort off the crossbar. The rebound fell to the feet of freshman Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel), whose follow-up effort from in close was turned away by Stone.
- On the ensuing corner, Drake put together a counter against the run of play which eventually resulted in a penalty as Valpo was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box. The Bulldogs’ Alison Walls took the penalty and put it inside the right-hand post to give Drake the 1-0 lead.
- Valpo bounced right back, however, and found the back of the net in the 67th minute with the equalizer. Sophomore Kiley Dugan (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) took a pass on the left flank, about 30 yards from goal. Dugan started forward and then cut inside, eventually splitting a pair of Drake defenders before letting a right-footed effort go from 22 yards away which looped into the upper-right corner of the goal to make it 1-1.
- Valpo continued to pressure, recording six shot attempts over the final 20 minutes of regulation — three of which were on goal. None found the back of the net, however, as the game went to extra time.
- Three of Valpo’s four shots over the two periods of extra time were on goal, but all were saved by Stone as the fixture finished 1-1.
Inside the Match
- Valpo has picked up at least one point from three of its first four MVC fixtures this year, matching the most results in conference play since it joined the MVC.
- Friday’s draw was just Valpo’s second in the all-time series with Drake (0-6-2) and was the program’s first result against the Bulldogs since joining the Valley.
- With three draws so far this year, Valpo has matched its greatest number of ties in a single season in the last six years.
- Dugan’s goal was the second of her Valpo career. She previously found the back of the net in non-conference play in 2019 against Wright State.
- Valpo enjoyed a 24-18 advantage in the shots department Friday, matching a season high with the 24 attempts (Chicago State). The Brown and Gold’s edge was even more pronounced after halftime, as they out-shot the Bulldogs 19-8 over the final 65 minutes.
- 15 of Valpo’s 24 shots were on goal, forcing Stone to make 14 stops to hold Valpo to one goal. The 15 shots on goal were the program’s highest total of efforts on frame in a single match since placing 15 shots on goal against Chicago State on Sept. 28, 2017.
- Meanwhile, freshman Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) surrendered just the PK goal and made five saves in the draw. Coryell has surrendered just five goals in Valpo’s first seven matches, only three of which came in the run of play.
- Beyond the edge in the shots category, Valpo also attempted seven corner kicks on Friday to just one for Drake.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“So many times, we are so results-driven, we don't look enough at the process. Tonight, there were so many positives with our process.”
“We came out tonight and had a specific tactical plan to deal with Drake's formation. I really liked how our players stuck to our plan, kept our compactness and made the game what we thought it would be over the entire 110 minutes. That is great progress, to stick to our plan and not stray away at any point.”
“I was really excited with the rhythm we found in the second half. If we lost the ball, we kept our shape and didn't over-run our challenges. We kept winning those balls over the top, which allowed us to continue with possession and give ourselves chances.”
“We have to hold ourselves accountable for our finishing - we have to be better in the final third. But you look at the numbers: 24 shots, 15 of those on goal and a crossbar - that shows great progress for this young group.”
“I thought Keegan was very good tonight at outside back for us. Peyton was very good in dealing with the shape we were going against as well. I also was really proud of Chase today - she stepped in, played heavy minutes and had a great performance. She grew as a player tonight tremendously. We've seen this now every week, somebody different stepping up and growing as a player, which is only going to help our group moving forward.”
Valpo (2-2-3, 1-1-2 MVC) returns to the road for the first time in nearly a month next week as it makes the trip to Evansville for a Wednesday evening match. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m., and the match is scheduled for broadcast on ESPN3.