With the Valpo soccer team putting up the attacking numbers they have so far this season, it was only a matter of time before those chances turned into goals, and the floodgates opened on Thursday night at Brown Field as the Beacons put away three goals in the first half en route to a 4-0 victory over MVC newcomer UIC.
How It Happened
- Valpo got the scoring underway in the 19th minute. Junior Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) took a corner and sent it past the far post, where freshman Molly O’Rear (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) headed it back into the center of the box. UIC goalkeeper Lauren Keiser came out to try to grab it, but was unable to get to it as senior Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) rushed in to head in the opening goal.
- Junior Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) made what proved to be her most critical save of the evening in the 31st minute, leaping to punch a UIC free kick from distance over the crossbar.
- The Beacons doubled their lead in the 38th minute. On the left side, sophomore Dana Fish (Sheboygan, Wis./Sheboygan North) played a pass into the middle of the field for sophomore Addy Joiner (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton). Joiner got an angle to the left around her defender and struck a left-footed shot from 15 yards out which went inside the far post to make it 2-0 Valpo.
- Just five minutes later, Fish was involved in Valpo’s third goal as well. The sophomore moved down the left side towards the end line and then played it back to sophomore Abby White (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Central), who was sprinting up from her left-back position. White gained possession 35 yards from goal, took a couple touches and then unleashed a left-footed laser from 25 yards out which rifled into the upper-right corner to push the advantage to 3-0.
- The Beacons completed the scoring in the 74th minute. Junior Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North) used her speed to get past her defender moving down the right-hand side into the attacking third, and then cut around that defender to get inside with space, creating a 2-v-1 situation. DuSatko hit sophomore Sam Gountounas (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew), who was open in the middle of the box, and Gountounas tidily took it first touch with her right foot from 12 yards out into the upper-right corner.
Inside the Match
- The win marked the first time Valpo had scored four or more goals in a conference match and the first time it had won a conference fixture by four goals since a 5-1 win over Indiana State on Oct. 25, 2018.
- It was the first time the program won a conference game by four goals in a game which finished 11 on 11 since October 2000.
- The Beacons’ four goals tied their season output to date entering the night.
- Norfolk’s goal was her second career goal and the first match-winner in her time at Valpo.
- Joiner’s goal was her second of the season and the fifth of her Beacon career.
- White’s goal was the second of her career, while Gountounas hit the back of the net for the first time in the Valpo uniform.
- O’Rear recorded her first collegiate assist on the match-winning goal, while James now owns nine career assists — seven of which have come on match-winners. James is just one assist shy of cracking Valpo’s career top-10 in the category.
- Fish picked up the second and third assists of her Valpo career. The sophomore posted the first two-assist game by a Valpo player since Joiner recorded a pair of helpers last October versus Cornell College.
- DuSatko’s assist on the Beacons’ final tally was her first of the season and the third of her career.
- Coryell has posted clean sheets in back-to-back matches to open MVC play, making five saves on Thursday to record her fourth shutout of the year and the 16th of her career. She has now registered shutouts in eight of Valpo’s last 11 MVC regular season fixtures.
- Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“Overall, I’m really proud of our group. They kept at it through some tough results in nonconference play and have been rewarded to start MVC play.”
“Getting the goal on the corner early in the game sets the table for how the rest of the game will play out — it was good to see us convert on that set piece. I thought Addy and Abby gave us two really quality finishes for our second and third goals — those two finishes were chances we’ve had in earlier games, but tonight, we were clinical with them and put them away.”
“I loved how we adapted to how UIC was trying to press and get goals back in the second half. We handled our defensive shape really well, and ultimately got rewarded with a counter opportunity to get our fourth goal. I’m impressed with how we kept the defensive structure to see the game out.”
Sitting atop the MVC standings, Valpo (3-5-2, 2-0-0 MVC) returns to Brown Field on Sunday afternoon as the Beacons host Drake. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and the match can be seen live on ESPN3.