Senior Chase Ray (Bellevue, Ohio/Bellevue) scored one of the quickest goals to open a match in program history, finding the back of the net 72 seconds into Sunday’s MVC match at Indiana State, and junior Sam Gountounas (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) added another tally midway through the first half as the Valpo soccer team came away with three road points courtesy of a 2-0 win over the Sycamores.
How It Happened
- Fans barely had time to settle into their seats Sunday before Ray gave Valpo a quick 1-0 lead. With the game just over one minute old, senior Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North) got to the end line and crossed into the box from the right. A Sycamore defender got a foot on the cross to knock it away from the goal line, but that only served to set it up for Ray to crash the box and drill it from 12 yards out inside the left post.
- DuSatko’s play helped set up the first goal, but while she didn’t get an assist on that play, she picked one up on Valpo’s insurance tally in the 22nd minute. Again, DuSatko used her speed to beat her marker toward the end line and set up another cross. This time, it was Gountounas making a run and getting to the ball between two ISU backs to put it away from close range inside the near post to make it 2-0.
- From there, the result was all but academic, as Valpo’s team play prevented Indiana State from getting many good looks at goal. Senior goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) did make seven saves, but most of those were low-percentage efforts and easy stops for the Beacon netminder. ISU hit the crossbar in the 77th minute on a long-range chance, but that was as close as the Sycamores came to halving the margin.
Inside the Match
- Combined with Thursday’s draw at Evansville, this is the fourth straight season Valpo has been unbeaten through its first two MVC matches of the season.
- Valpo is 16-2-4 in its last 22 MVC regular season fixtures and has surrendered one goal or fewer in 27 of its last 28 MVC regular season matches.
- The Beacons have won five straight against Indiana State and are 7-1-0 against their in-state rivals since joining the Valley.
- Ray entered the weekend having played in 56 matches in her time at Valpo without finding the back of the net, but has now tallied goals in consecutive contests with her goal Sunday — the first match-winner of her career.
- Ray’s goal came at the 1:12 mark, just missing cracking the program’s top-five fastest goals to start a match all-time. It is Valpo’s quickest opening goal since Rita Craven hit just 64 seconds in against Green Bay on Oct. 17, 2015.
- Gountounas also tallied her second goal of the season with her insurance goal and owns three career goals.
- Six different Valpo players have scored multiple goals this season, matching the most by a Valpo side since the 2007 squad had seven players score at least twice.
- DuSatko cracked Valpo’s all-time best in career assists on Sunday, as her fourth helper of the season was her 10th career assist, moving her into a tie for sixth in program history.
- Coryell kept her third clean sheet of the season to help Valpo earn three points on Sunday, making a season-high seven saves.
- Fifth-year center back Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) has played all 900 minutes to date this season, making all 10 starts to give her 76 career starts in the Valpo uniform — tied for eighth-most in program history. She is one appearance shy of cracking the program’s top-10 for matches played as well.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“We just wanted to have a really aggressive, front-foot kind of start today. We are always trying to learn from every competition, and so we were just diligent today about coming out on the front foot properly in the first 15 minutes. We did that, and we were rewarded for it.”
“Chase is obviously in good form, scoring for a second straight game — she’s always been a quality individual who does all the hard work, winning headballs, and she’s been rewarded for that work this weekend.”
“Getting that second goal was very important. We knew we were going to be in a tough match today against an Indiana State side which had a week to prepare for the game — they have the ability to score goals, the ability to defend and are a hard-working group. So having the two-goal lead, it became a matter of let's make sure we see the game through and limit the times that we get exposed. I think that's what led to our overall performance and how the game went — once we had the lead, we did smart things and didn't expose ourselves much.”
“I thought we got some great performances by players off the bench today. Cass came in and did what she does, winning balls and helping us build through the midfield. Lauren came in at the end of the first half and stayed out there to begin the second half, putting in really hard work and putting players under pressure — that mentality was good. Obviously, Sam scoring her second goal of the season, seeing how she just put her body on the line for that one was great. Daisy came in and really finished off the game well at right back — it’s exciting to see her continue to grow and build through experience.”
“Overall, I just loved our effort today, our mentality, the togetherness we played with. I’m just proud to be a Beacon today!”
After five consecutive road matches, Valpo (5-2-3, 1-0-1 MVC) returns home to Brown Field for its next three fixtures — the first of which comes Thursday night at 7 p.m. against a Missouri State side which was the only team to deal the Beacons a regular season defeat in Valley play last season. Thursday’s match can be seen live on ESPN+.