The Valpo soccer team celebrated the six members of its senior class on Senior Day prior to its match on Sunday afternoon, but once the contest got underway, visiting Belmont spoiled the festivities with a pair of goals late in the first half that were the difference in a 2-0 Bruins victory.
How It Happened
- Valpo was on the front foot early, forcing Belmont goalkeeper Sarah Doyle into a number of early saves. Perhaps the Beacons’ best chance was a ninth-minute strike from senior Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) which looked positioned for the upper central part of the goal before Doyle turned it away.
- Belmont opened the scoring in the 33rd minute on a goal from Maci Pekmezian, assisted by Natalie Haverland and Olivia Walker.
- The Bruins doubled their advantage just over four minutes later off a free kick by Avery Nowak that Loren House scored on.
- Trailing 2-0 coming out of the locker room, Valpo kept the pressure on the Bruins throughout the entirety of the final 45 minutes, out-shooting Belmont 15-2 in the second half. But none of the Beacons’ efforts hit the back of the net — their closest shot was a sharp-angle shot by fifth-year Allie Anderson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South [Xavier]) in the 55th minute which came back off the crossbar.
Inside the Match
- Prior to the match, Valpo honored the six members of its senior class — James, Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley), Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North), Cassidy Eckstein (Carmel, Ind./Carmel), Aubrey Ramey (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School [DePaul]) and Chase Ray (Bellevue, Ohio/Bellevue). Ramey joined the group this year after spending her first three seasons at DePaul, while the other five all came into the program as rookies in the spring 2021 season.
- All six seniors were part of the starting lineup for the Beacons on Sunday.
- Fifth-year center back Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) was part of the starting lineup once again, the 82nd match played and match started of her Valpo career. Norfolk moves into a tie for first in program history in both categories with Beth Muskovich, who played at Valpo from 1996 through 1999.
- Valpo ended the match with a 24-9 advantage in shots and put seven shots on goal to the Bruins’ four.
Valpo (6-4-6, 2-2-4 MVC) closes out the regular season home schedule on Thursday night when the Beacons host UNI. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. and the match will be streamed live on ESPN+.