Valpo women’s soccer redshirt junior forward Tahelah Noel (Buffalo, N.Y./Christian Central Academy) found the back of the net with a superb solo effort midway through the first half to give the Brown and Gold the lead in their MVC opener, but host Missouri State rallied with two second-half goals, including the match-winner in the 85th minute, as Valpo fell by a 2-1 final.
How It Happened
- Valpo claimed the lead in the opening match of Missouri Valley Conference play thanks to Noel’s work in the 25th minute. The junior went on a solo run down the right-hand side from midfield. As she entered the attacking third, Noel cut towards the corner of the box and eventually hit a strike from 15 yards out that curled its way into the upper left to put Valpo on top.
- Following Noel’s goal, Valpo did not allow the Bears a single shot attempt the remainder of the half as the match went into intermission 1-0 in the visitors’ favor.
- Missouri State would level the match just past the midway point of the second half. Jordan Eickelman gained possession in the attacking third from a Valpo defender, ran into the left side of the box, and hit a shot along the ground from eight yards out which snuck inside the right-hand post to make it 1-1.
- The deciding goal came in the 85th minute off a set piece by Missouri State. The Bears’ Ashley Coonfield took a corner kick from the right side and put it in the center of the box, where Brittney Robinson raced in for a header that found the back of the net to give the Bears the match-winner.
Inside the Match
- Missouri State entered the conference opener with the MVC’s best record in non-conference play.
- The defeat was Valpo’s first against the Bears since joining the Valley prior to the 2017 season.
- Noel’s goal was the third of her career, but her first since Sept. 1, 2017.
- Valpo beat Kaitlin Maxwell with its lone shot on goal of the match, a departure from the norm as Maxwell entered the match with an .851 save percentage on the year.
- Missouri State owned a 10-3 advantage in shots. The Bears placed four of their shots on goal, with Valpo goalkeeper Kezia Gesell (Winnipeg, Man./Glenlawn Collegiate Institute) making two saves.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“Our team competed and battled extremely well today. This result hurts because of the commitment the players had to the match, and the many positive things that we put together today. We played well on the road and need to continue this commitment.”
Valpo (0-10-1, 0-1-0 MVC) continues conference play with its last of three consecutive road matches, heading to Indiana State next Saturday evening, Oct. 5, for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff.