The Valpo soccer team traveled to Chicago Thursday for a showdown with Loyola for the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship, but the host Ramblers prevailed 5-0 to earn the regular season title. Despite the loss, Valpo earned the number two seed for the upcoming MVC Tournament and has a bye to the tournament semifinals.
How It Happened
- Loyola’s Katharine Stephens opened the scoring in the 26th minute and Megan Nemec doubled the lead with a 33rd-minute goal.
- A red card to Valpo in the 38th minute sent the Beacons down to 10 players for the remainder of the match.
- Valpo played the Ramblers even for over 25 minutes despite being down a player until Bailey Faulkner scored in the 64th minute.
- Goals from Madeleine Barone in the 78th minute and Megan Demski in the 85th minute rounded out the scoring.
Inside the Match
- Sophomore goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) made six saves in goal for the Beacons.
- Thursday’s loss snapped Valpo’s nine-match unbeaten streak, the second-longest streak in program history.
- This fixture was the only one of the eight conference matches in which Valpo trailed. In fact, when they surrendered the first goal in the 26th minute, it was the first time the Beacons were behind since Sept. 10 against Western Illinois.
- Valpo closed the conference schedule with a 6-1-1 record, its third-best regular season conference record in program history. Only the 2014 (8-0-0, Horizon League) and 2006 (4-0-2, Mid-Continent Conference) sides posted better conference records.
- Freshman Emma Morrison (Canton, Mich./Plymouth-Canton) made her collegiate debut late in the second half, becoming the 27th different player to see action for Valpo this season.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“The difficult part of the game is that we conceded the first goal on a corner kick due to a communication issue. We had to chase, we get caught, we give up a second. Both goals could have been preventable, but instead, we were down two.”
“The red card changed the game. It’s an even tougher task to chase a game down two goals and a player. Give credit to our players, they fought through that and really competed. For a good part of the second half, we handled being down a player well. But when we gave away a third goal, then our focus had to change.”
“We have to have a very short memory. We have a lot to learn from our experience today, but also things that we need to continue to do and trust in. We turn our focus to next Friday now.”
Valpo (10-5-2, 6-1-1 MVC) will await its semifinal opponent in the 2021 MVC Tournament, either third-seeded Indiana State or sixth-seeded Evansville. The semifinal matchup will take place at Loyola next Friday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. and can be seen live on The Valley on ESPN.