August 17, 20231st2ndFinal
Eastern Illinois011
VAL35:00Sam Gountounas (Allie Anderson )
VAL48:44Allie Anderson (Peyton Evans , Aubrey Ramey)
EIU60:58Abby Reinl (Ella Onstott )
EIUHoover, Ashlyn17:3602
EIUKratochvil, Ella72:2423
VALCoryell, Nikki90:0010
Stats at a GlanceEIUVAL
Shots (on Goal)3 (1) 22 (8)
Corner Kicks28
Yellow Cards20

August 20, 20231st2ndFinal
VAL60:52Nicole Norfolk (Allie Anderson )
NIUMcGill, Sadie90:0014
VALCoryell, Nikki90:0006
Stats at a GlanceNIUVAL
Shots (on Goal)14 (6) 10 (5)
Corner Kicks36
Yellow Cards03
Soccer Set to Open 2023 Campaign With Pair of Home Matches
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Soccer Set to Open 2023 Campaign With Pair of Home Matches

Valparaiso (0-0-0, 0-0-0 MVC)
Thursday, Aug. 17 - Eastern Illinois - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 20 - Northern Illinois - 1 p.m.

Next Up in Valpo Soccer: Coming off of winning the 2022 Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship, the Beacons kick off the 31st season of Valpo soccer this weekend with a pair of home matches on Brown Field. The year opens with a matchup against Eastern Illinois Thursday night at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday afternoon brings Northern Illinois to town for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Previously: Valpo competed twice against outside competition during the preseason, hosting Oakland and playing at #3 Notre Dame in exhibition matches.

Looking Ahead: A pair of power conference foes are on the docket for the second weekend of the regular season, as Valpo plays at Purdue Aug. 24 and at Kentucky Aug. 27.

Following the Beacons: Both of this weekend’s matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+, as all of Valpo’s home fixtures will be carried on The Valley on ESPN. Links for the live video and live stats can be found at

Head Coach John Marovich: Entering his 16th season at the helm of the Valpo program, John Marovich holds a 121-112-42 record both overall and at Valpo as a head coach. The 2014 Horizon League Coach of the Year and the head of the 2022 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year, Marovich holds Valpo’s all-time records for both victories and winning percentage.

Series Notes: Eastern Illinois - EIU holds a slight 7-6-3 advantage in the all-time series, but it’s been a tale of two series. From 1995 through 2002, the Panthers were 7-0-1. But since 2003, it has been all Valpo to the tune of a 6-0-2 record. Last season, the two sides met for the first time since 2018 and battled to a scoreless draw. Valpo outshot EIU by a 15-10 margin in that matchup, but it was the Beacons who needed a diving save from Nikki Coryell in the final seconds to preserve the tie.

Northern Illinois - Valpo is in search of its first win over the Huskies, as NIU owns an 8-0-1 advantage in the all-time series. Only three of those matchups have come since 1997, however. The most recent meeting came on Brown Field on Sept. 3, 2021, a Valpo performance which was not reflected in the result: a 1-0 NIU win. The Beacons out-shot NIU 17-8 and put eight shots on goal to the Huskies’ four, but it was NIU’s final shot in the 86th minute which found the back of the net.

Scouting the Opposition: Eastern Illinois - EIU posted a 2-6-8 record last season and was 0-4-4 in OVC play. The Panthers have to replace starting goalkeeper Daniela Bermeo, who played every minute last year and posted a 0.81 GAA. EIU also lost leading scorer Jenna Little, as just three of the Panthers’ 10 goals scored are on the roster in 2023.

Northern Illinois - NIU went 6-8-4 in 2022, including a 3-6-2 mark in MAC action. The Huskies return both goalkeepers from last year’s squad, as Sadie McGill and Deighton Warner split time in goal. Leading scorer Amber Best (4g, 2a) is back as well this season.

Valpo Picked Second in Preseason Poll: The Beacons were chosen to finish in second place in preseason polling of the MVC head coaches. Valpo, which picked up one first-place vote and tallied 107 points in the polling, trailed only Missouri State in the voting. The Beacons far outpaced third-place UIC, which totaled 92 points. Notably, the program has matched or surpassed its preseason projection in each of its first six seasons in the Valley.

Quartet of Preseason Honorees: Plenty of individual standouts have helped Valpo get to the point where it is regarded as one of the Valley’s top programs, and four of them were honored with preseason All-MVC accolades. Fifth-year Nicole Norfolk joined seniors Lindsey DuSatko and Nikki Coryell as preseason First Team All-MVC selections, while junior Addy Joiner picked up Honorable Mention accolades.

Looking Back at Last Season: Valpo’s journey up the MVC table over the last few years culminated last season with a dramatic final day of the regular season which saw the Beacons emerge with the MVC regular season championship - Valpo’s first team title in any sport since joining the Valley. The Beacons finished the season with an 8-7-4 overall record, including a 7-1-2 mark in MVC action to claim the regular season crown. Nikki Coryell was named MVC Goalkeeper of the Year for a third straight season, while John Marovich, Brianne Barnes and Noah Smith were honored as the Valley Coaching Staff of the Year. Nicole Norfolk was named a Third Team All-Region honoree as well.

Who’s Back and Who’s New: Valpo returns 18 letterwinners, including nine starters, from last year’s squad which claimed the MVC regular season title. The returnees accounted for 16 of the Beacon’s 19 goals and 17 of their 18 assists in Valley play last season. 11 players looking to compete for the first time in the Valpo uniform round out the roster - nine incoming freshmen, one transfer and one redshirt.

Opening Things Up: Valpo will open the season with a home match on Brown Field for the first time since 2019, when Green Bay came to town. Valpo also opened the spring 2021 campaign at “home”, with a matchup against Chicago State at the Sparta Dome in Crown Point. The Beacons are in search of their first win in a fall season opener since winning at Green Bay, 2-1, on Aug. 17. In fact, Thursday’s match will tie that match and a 1-0 victory over IUPUI on Aug. 17, 2012 for the earliest match on the calendar in program history.

Regular Season Champions: Trailing by two points entering the final match day, Valpo needed a win and some help to earn the 2022 MVC regular season title, and got both. Molly O’Rear’s goal in the 36th minute against Indiana State not only gave the Beacons a lead they would not surrender, it put Valpo atop the live conference table for good, as Illinois State led Missouri State at that point, 2-0, en route to a 4-2 win. For Valpo, it was the program’s fourth regular season conference championship. Valpo previously won Mid-Continent Conference regular season crowns in back-to-back seasons in 2005 and 2006, and posted a perfect record to claim the 2014 Horizon League regular season title.

Incremental Improvement: Since finishing joint sixth in the MVC table and missing out on the conference tournament via tiebreaker during the 2018 season, Valpo has improved its position in the final Valley standings each of the next four seasons. Valpo closed out the regular season in fifth place in 2019, finished tied for third in the spring of 2021 and were regular season runners-up in the fall of 2021 before claiming the regular season crown last fall.

Conference Success: Valpo has built on its success within conference play over the last few seasons. Since the start of the spring 2021 campaign, the Beacons are 16-4-6 within regular season MVC matches - a mark which improves to 16-2-6 with the removal of the two Loyola matches.

Three-Time Goalkeeper of the Year: Senior goalkeeper Nikki Coryell has quite simply been the Valley’s top goalkeeper throughout her career, as she has been honored as the MVC Goalkeeper of the Year in each of her three seasons. Last season, Coryell posted an 8-5-4 record with a 0.91 GAA and an .800 save percentage, posting seven clean sheets. Coryell and the Valpo defense surrendered just five goals in 10 MVC matches last season and posted five shutouts - matching the program record for the most clean sheets within conference play in a single season. In her three Goalkeeper of the Year campaigns, Coryell has posted a cumulative GAA of 0.59 and a save percentage of .878 in conference play. In 26 MVC fixtures, she holds a 16-4-6 record and has recorded 14 shutouts, giving up one goal or fewer in 25 of those 26 matches.

Running Up Top: Senior forward Lindsey DuSatko enters the 2023 campaign having earned All-Conference honors in each of the last two seasons, as she was a Second Team honoree in 2021 and a First Team choice last season. The pacey forward was tied for second among Valley players with four assists in MVC-only play in 2022, picking up a helper apiece in four of Valpo’s regular season conference wins, and scored a goal as well. DuSatko assisted on the match-winning goal in the Beacons’ win at Murray State and scored the game-tying goal in Valpo’s draw with Southern Illinois.

Locking Down the Back Line: Fifth-year center back Nicole Norfolk has been the linchpin in the Valpo defense ever since stepping onto campus prior to the 2019 season. The stalwart in the back was a First Team All-MVC honoree in 2022 after earning Second Team recognition the previous year. Valpo’s record holder for conseuctive minutes played by a field player, Norfolk played all but 14 minutes of Valpo’s first 15 matches of the 2022 season before suffering an injury in mid-October. With Norfolk on the field during Valley play, Valpo surrendered just one goal in 544 minutes of play. Norfolk added Third Team All-Midwest Region honors to her resume as well last season.

Joiner Just Keeps Scoring: Junior forwad Addy Joiner was more than just a spark off the bench in 2022 - she was an assassin in front of goal. A First Team All-MVC honoree, Joiner finished the regular season with a Valley-high seven goals on the year and eventually concluded the season in second place with her seven tallies. The two-time MVC Offensive Player of the Week scored six of her seven goals in Valley play, one apiece in six of Valpo’s seven MVC Victories. Her six goals in conference play were the most by a Valpo player in league action since Jackie Kondratko netted six goals in Horizon League matches in 2009.

Wait, There’s More!: The aforementioned four First Team All-MVC honorees from a season ago represent just over half of the total number of honorees from last season’s regular season champions. Fifth-year midfielder Allie Anderson picked up Second Team All-MVC recognition in 2022, while junior left back Abby White was a Third Team All-MVC choice. Sophomore Molly O’Rear rounds out last year’s award winners, as she claimed a spot on the MVC All-Freshman Team.

Even More on Last Year’s Awards: Valpo’s four First Team honorees in 2022 set a program record for postseason honors, as the program previously boasted three First Team All-League recipients on three occasions. The Beacons have had multiple First Team All-MVC honorees each of the last three seasons, and also have had at least one representative on the MVC All-Freshman Team in each of their six seasons in the conference.

Regionally Ranked: Valpo is looking to start this season the same way it ended the regular season last year - among the ten squads ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Midwest Region ranking. This year’s first regional ranking will come out after the first weekend of competition. Last season, Valpo was ranked in each of the season’s final two weeks at #10 regionally.