For the second straight match, the Valpo soccer team fell behind, and for the second straight match, the Beacons overcame the deficit, scoring twice after conceding the opener to come from behind for a 2-1 win Sunday afternoon at Murray State. With the victory, Valpo keeps pace with MVC-leading Missouri State at the top of the table.
How It Happened
- Junior goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) made a strong, leaping save on a shot by the Racers in the 18th minute to keep the match scoreless.
- Murray State struck less than two minutes later, however, to go ahead 1-0.
- Less than seven minutes later, sophomore Addy Joiner (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) had a stellar opportunity to level the match as she was central in the box to receive a cross, but her effort went right at MSU goalkeeper Jenna Villacres, who made the stop.
- The ensuing corner proved fruitful, however. Senior Allie Anderson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South [Xavier]) delivered the corner towards the near post, and Villacres’ punch went up in the air more so than out from goal. The Beacons took advantage, with multiple players in position to strike at the second ball — it was Joiner who made contact from close range, banging it into the back of the net to even the match 1-1 in the 28th minute.
- The match entered halftime level at 1-1.
- The Racers were poised to pull back ahead less than five minutes after intermission, as a foul in the box gave Murray State a penalty kick. But Coryell was up to the task on a spot kick for the second time in the last three matches, correctly guessing along the ground to her right and parrying the shot wide of goal to keep it a 1-1 game.
- Coryell’s save was just the start of the decisive sequence of the match, however. On the ensuing corner, Valpo won the first ball and Murray State the second ball before freshman Molly O’Rear (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) took the third ball and took advantage of MSU pushing numbers forward on the corner to put a pass over the top to junior Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North).
- The speedy DuSatko raced in towards goal behind the final defender, with just goalkeeper Jamie Skarupsky between her and the goal. DuSatko downshifted to take it around Skarupsky at the top of the box, and chose wisely not to force a shot from the right side of the box with a pair of defenders getting back in position for a potential block. Instead, she waited patiently and slotted a pass to the center of the box, where sophomore Abby White (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Central) had raced forward from left back. White took her shot first time from 10 yards out with her right foot, easily inside the left post to make it 2-1 Valpo.
- Coryell kept the scoreline in Valpo’s favor with another stellar save in the 60th minute, lunging up and to her left to push an MSU shot from outside the box over the crossbar.
- Holding the one-goal advantage, the Beacons absorbed pressure from the Racers throughout the final 25 minutes, but only surrendered one official shot attempt as they saw out the victory.
Inside the Match
- Sunday’s victory improves Valpo’s record to 6-1-1 in MVC action. With 19 points, the Beacons are in second place, three points back of Missouri State and with a game in hand on the Bears.
- Valpo secured a top-three finish in the final MVC regular season standings with the three points on Sunday.
- The Beacons have won each of their last three matches, their second three-match winning streak within MVC play.
- Sunday’s result, combined with Thursday’s 2-1 win at Belmont, marks just the second time in program history that Valpo has come from behind to win in consecutive matches. In nonconference play early in the 2006 season, Valpo was down 2-1 at Belmont before winning 3-2 in extra time and followed with a 3-1 win at Lipscomb after trailing 1-0.
- This weekend is the first time Valpo has won multiple matches on the same road trip since wins at Youngstown State and at Cleveland State in October 2009.
- Joiner continued her prolificacy on the attack with her MVC-best sixth goal of the season and the ninth of her career. Five of Joiner’s six goals have come in Valley play, one apiece in each of the five matches she has entered off the bench.
- Joiner’s five goals in conference play match the most by a Valpo player in league action since Jackie Kondratko netted six goals in Horizon League matches in 2009.
- Joiner found the back of the net for a third consecutive match, the first Valpo player to score in back-to-back-to-back fixtures since Cory Griffith tallied goals in the last three matches of the 2017 season.
- Anderson cracked Valpo’s single-season top-10 chart for assists with her corner kick which led to Joiner’s goal. With a team-high five helpers on the season, Anderson is tied for fourth in a single season in program history.
- White’s goal was her second of the season and the third of her career. It was her second career match-winner, as she also netted Valpo’s second goal to overcome a 1-0 deficit for a 2-1 win last year at Robert Morris.
- DuSatko’s assist on the match-winner was her third assist of the season and gives her five career assists.
- Coryell made seven saves to earn the win on Sunday, none bigger than her penalty save which opened the sequence which led to the match-winning goal. The seven saves were one shy of the junior’s season high between the pipes.
- Valpo has outscored its opponents 14-3 since the start of MVC play. It is the Beacons' most prolific league campaign in terms of goal scoring since finding the back of the net 15 times in Horizon League play in 2015.
- The Beacons have surrendered more than one goal just once in their last 25 MVC regular season matches, a stretch which includes 14 clean sheets.
- Senior center back Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels), who left Thursday’s match early on due to injury, did not feature on Sunday — snapping a streak of 65 consecutive matches started since stepping on campus. Fellow senior Kiley Dugan (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) kept her starting streak going, as she has been announced as part of the starting eleven in each of Valpo’s 66 matches since the start of the 2019 campaign.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“What I take away from this weekend is tremendous pride in our group. We have a resilient group who, in both matches on this trip, did a great job responding to adversity. It’s very hard to get results on the road in the Valley, and for our team to take all six points this weekend is worthy of praise.”
“Again today, we found a way to respond after falling behind. It was a gritty goal from Addy, putting herself in position to take advantage of that second ball.”
“It was just a great team sequence to get the second goal. From the PK stop by Nikki, to Allie stepping up and winning the first ball on the corner, to Molly getting the third ball and having the vision to play it forward, to Lindsey getting behind the defense and then being patient and playing a nice pass to Abby, who finished well — so many people had a hand in us going ahead.”
“This was a prototypical Valley match. We scored that second goal, and then saw the game out as well as we could. We dealt well with Murray State’s pressure in that final stretch.”
“I thought a lot of players stepped up this weekend. Emma stepped in at center back, Sam had a big weekend. I thought our midfield did a great job today especially. The ball was in the air a lot and Murray State was putting heavy pressure on us. Our midfielders had to cover a lot of ground and did a lot of hard work, and deserve a lot of credit for today’s result.”
Valpo (7-6-3, 6-1-1 MVC) returns home for its final two matches of the 2022 regular season, beginning with a Thursday night match against Southern Illinois from Brown Field at 7:30 p.m. which can be seen live on ESPN+. The Beacons will do no worse than share the MVC regular season title with wins in their final two matches.