Fifth-year midfielder Allie Anderson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South [Xavier]) made sure that the Valpo soccer team would not end nonconference play on a losing note Sunday afternoon, finding the back of the net in the 86th minute to give the Beacons a 1-1 draw at Eastern Michigan.
How It Happened
- Valpo was able to hold off early pressure from the host Eagles, as EMU had eight shots and three corner kicks inside the first 17 minutes of the match. Senior goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) made four saves during that stretch to keep EMU off the board.
- The Beacons had a couple stints of strong pressure in the early going as well, but were unable to get on the board.
- The Eagles found their goal in the 28th minute, as Meagan Lukowski tallied the match’s opener. The match went into halftime with EMU leading 1-0.
- Both sides forced the opposing goalkeepers to make multiple saves during the second half, with Coryell making a pair of stops to keep it a one-goal game, while EMU goalkeeper Rebecca Przybylo stopped three shots to keep Valpo off the board.
- Finally, with the clock ticking under five minutes to play, the Beacons found the goal they needed to level the score, taking advantage of a free kick in the attacking third. Played into the box, junior Abby White (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Central) won the first header to the right, where senior Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North) sent a header of her own back across the box, setting up Anderson to volley it into the upper 90 from 12 yards out.
Inside the Match
- Valpo closed the nonconference slate with a 4-2-2 record, the program’s first winning record in nonconference action since the 2017 side went 6-5-0.
- The 4-2-2 mark is Valpo’s best nonconference record since going 4-1-4 outside conference play in 2014.
- Anderson’s goal was her second of the season, making her the fourth Beacon to net multiple goals this year.
- The goal, which came at the 85:22 mark, was the latest regulation equalizer for Valpo since Tahelah Noel netted a goal 75 seconds from the end of regulation to force extra time in an eventual win over Eastern Illinois on Sept. 1, 2017.
- It was the latest equalizer in a draw for Valpo since Sept. 10, 2004 at Toledo, when Kelly Faulkner scored at the 87:06 mark in a 1-1 tie with the Rockets.
- DuSatko's assist was her team-best third of the year and second in as many matches, giving her nine career helpers. White tallied her first career assist to go with three goals.
- Coryell made six saves in goal to preserve the draw, matching a season high. She is now alone in fifth place in program history with 239 career saves.
- Dating back to last year, Valpo has surrendered one goal or fewer in 18 of its last 19 matches.
- EMU finished with a 16-11 advantage in the shots department and put seven on goal to Valpo’s five.
- Fifth-year center back Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) played all 720 minutes of the nonconference slate.
Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“Playing on Friday, we knew we were going to come into today with a bit of fatigue, and I thought our players responded really well.”
“We created some really good scoring chances in the first half that we didn’t put away. We had many good attacking ideas, but had to be more clinical in front of goal.”
“We gave away a goal late in the first half, but I’m proud of the resilience of this group. We kept fighting back, switched our formation, found a way to get a bit more of the run of play. We created several great chances and ultimately got rewarded for the consistency of the push — it’s easy to get more frantic the later it gets when you’re chasing a goal, but our players really kept their heads, stayed true and got rewarded for their effort.”
“This group just keeps asking questions of themselves, how can we get better, and they keep learning and growing each and every match. Applying those things today is why we got rewarded for our resiliency and our perseverance.”
Valpo (4-2-2) will have an unusual stretch of 11 days off mid-season, as with the MVC slate kicking off next weekend, the Beacons have their bye in the first match day of the conference schedule. Valpo returns to the field on Thursday, Sept. 21 to kick off Valley play at Evansville.