On the front foot most of the match with a strong overall team performance, the Valpo soccer team found a big breakthrough midway through the second half Friday evening at Youngstown State, scoring twice within a 76-second stretch for a 2-0 victory over the Penguins in the Beacons’ penultimate nonconference match of the season.
How It Happened
- The first half was nearly all Valpo pressuring the YSU defense, as the Beacons outshot the Penguins 9-3 and had 66% of their possession in the attacking half.
- Among those nine shots were a pair of close calls that threatened to give Valpo the lead off the foot of fifth-year midfielder Allie Anderson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South [Xavier]). The first came in the 20th minute, as the Beacon press forced a YSU turnover to Anderson in the box, but her effort hit the crossbar and the follow-up shot from junior Addy Joiner (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) was turned over the end line.
- With the match approaching halftime in the 41st minute, Anderson decided to try her luck from deep and again narrowly missed putting Valpo in front, as her 30-yard strike again found the top woodwork and bounced back into the field of play.
- The Beacons maintained their pressure on the Penguins as the match entered the second half, and were finally rewarded in the 65th minute. Fifth-year defender Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) had room to run into the attacking third in the middle of the field and sent a ball out right to senior Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North). DuSatko got past her defender to the end line and sent a ball along the ground into the six-yard box. Joiner was on the other end, and after one unsuccessful stab at it around a defender, the junior’s second stab found its mark, beating YSU goalkeeper Brooklyn Kirkpatrick to give Valpo the lead.
- There was barely time to catch a breath before the Beacons doubled their lead. On the defensive side of the halfway stripe, freshman Anna Cup (Bartlett, Ill./South Elgin) sent a long free kick into the attacking third. DuSatko got away from her defender on the right and let the free kick bounce twice on the turf before hitting a volley from 15 yards out with her right foot, eluding the lunging effort from Kirkpatrick and finding its way inside the far post to double the lead.
- YSU racked up a number of shots in the final 20 minutes as they pressed for a goal, many of them low-probability efforts from distance. The Penguins did have one strong chance to cut the lead in half in the 88th minute when the Beacons were called for a foul in the box, but senior goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) was up to the task on the ensuing penalty kick, diving to her left to deny Abriana Rondin.
Inside the Match
- Valpo improved to 4-2-1 on the season with Friday’s win, securing the program’s first nonconference record above .500 since the 2017 campaign.
- With a win on Sunday, Valpo would finish with its best nonconference record since 2008.
- The Beacons are the first time this season to put multiple goals past the Youngstown State defense, as the Penguins side came into the match with a 4-1-1 record and only four goals surrendered.
- Joiner’s goal was her fifth of the season, all of which have come in Valpo’s last four matches.
- The goal was Joiner’s 15th career tally, moving her into a tie for eighth in program history. It was also the fifth match-winner of the junior’s career.
- After going three-plus seasons without having been involved in multiple goals in the same match, DuSatko has been involved in multiple goals twice in the last eight days. Her assist on Joiner’s match-winner was her second of this season and the eighth of her career.
- DuSatko’s insurance tally was her second goal this year and her ninth career goal.
- Norfolk earned the secondary assist on the eventual match-winner, giving her the second assist of the season and fourth of her career. She has six points on the season, doubling her point total from the first four years of her career.
- Cup tallied her first career assist with the long-distance free kick on DuSatko’s goal.
- Coryell’s penalty save was her fifth save of the evening and preserved the 21st clean sheet of her Valpo career, moving her into solo second position in program history in career shutouts. She also owns 233 career saves, tied for fifth-most in program history.
- Coryell has faced 10 penalty kicks (excluding shootouts) in her collegiate career and has saved four of them.
- Making her return from injury, senior forward Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) made her season debut Friday evening, playing the final eight minutes of the match.
- Valpo out-shot YSU for the night, 16-11, and put six shots on goal to the Penguins’ five. The Beacons also registered seven of the match’s 10 corner kicks.
Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“Going into tonight, against a team in Youngstown which has started the year great and we’re playing on the road, we looked at where we needed to challenge ourselves and expand on. So I was impressed with the way our team was able to take adjustments in how we wanted to press in a different fashion, proud of how we adapted to that and posed a question to Youngstown.”
“I felt we had the right attitude tonight — we really tried to find spaces in possession and not be too quick to just play forward. We showed patience and found good pockets to play forward in. We were a bit unlucky to hit two crossbars in the first half, could be frustrating, but we talked at halftime about the lesson being to be a little bit cleaner. Our first goal, we got a nice cross from Lindsey and Addy was there to put her foot through it. Then the second goal, just a class finish from Lindsey on the volley.”
“Staying true to who we are and doing the little things really well got us the result tonight against a really solid team. The defense tonight had a very good performance, not just in terms of defending, but also in building the attack and dealing with a lot of aerial service, going up and winning headballs. The midfield did a good job getting on the ball, trying to create that next line. All areas of the field tonight went in with the proper attitude and were able to go in, figure out what the game was going to be and impact the game.”
“It was just a joy to be around this team all day today. From breakfast, to pregame meal, to the game, to the bus ride back, the environment was awesome. That led to a great performance and tells a lot about this year's team.”
Valpo (4-2-1) goes for a winning end to nonconference play on Sunday afternoon at Eastern Michigan. Kickoff is slated for noon CT — no video stream is available, but live stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.