Valpo falls to IUPUI on Senior Day

The Valpo women’s soccer team celebrated Senior Day Sunday at Brown Field and jumped out to a lead less than 10 minutes into the contest, but visiting IUPUI leveled the match minutes later and the Jaguars added two more goals as Valpo dropped a 3-1 decision.

How It Happened

-          IUPUI kicked off to open the match, but sportingly put the ball out immediately so that injured senior Adi Johnson (Rockford, Ill./Rockford Christian) could be a part of the Starting XI on Senior Day and come right off the pitch.

-          It was a senior which started the play which put Valpo on top in the 10th minute. Ali Quillen (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) took what amounted to a short corner following a foul, a few yards in from the near touchline. Her ball into the box found the head of freshman Natalie Graf (Williamsburg, Mich./St. Francis), who headed it inside the right post to give Valpo the 1-0 advantage.

-          The lead would last less than six minutes, however, as the Jaguars struck on the same kind of set piece. Miranda Ricks took a corner kick in the 16th minute, and it was Valentine Pursey on the other end for a header inside the six-yard box to level the match.

-          IUPUI took the lead for good in the 21st minute. Natalie McNally sent a long lead pass directly up the middle, and Pursey took possession and hit a strike from 15 yards out to put the Jaguars ahead.

-          The Jaguars got an insurance goal in the 70th minute to close the scoring. An unlucky handball at the top of the box resulted in an IUPUI penalty kick, and Elizabeth Bueckers converted the spot kick.

Inside the Match

-          Prior to the match, Valpo honored the eight members of its senior class: Johnson, Quillen, Maria Broecker (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester), Anna Eksten (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean [Carthage]), Olivia Janke (Canton, Mich./Plymouth), Courtney Johnson (Pewaukee, Wis./Pewaukee [UIS]), Julia Lehnen (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) and Tahelah Noel (Buffalo, N.Y./Christian Central Academy).

-          All eight honorees saw action in Sunday’s match. Four of the eight started: Broecker, Noel and Quillen in addition to the aforementioned Adi Johnson. Lehnen played 37 minutes off the bench, while Janke and Eksten each got runs to close the first half.

-          Courtney Johnson entered in goal in the 87th minute, her first regular season appearance for the Brown and Gold.

-          Graf’s goal was the first of her Valpo career and was one of her team-high three shot attempts on Sunday.

-          Quillen’s assist on the opening goal was the fourth of her career.

-          Both sides put a good percentage of their shot attempts on goal. IUPUI attempted 15 shots, 10 of which were on frame, while Valpo registered eight shots on goal among its 13 efforts.

-          Freshman Georgia Henkel (Houston, Texas/Stratford) made seven saves, including a few highlight-reel efforts, in goal for Valpo. Sophia Lipka earned the win in goal for IUPUI, stopping four shots in the first half after surrendering the first goal. AP Woodall played the second half in goal for the Jaguars and made three saves.

Thoughts From Coach Marovich

“I felt like we put a lot together today and looked more like the team we are becoming, and the end result isn't necessarily indicative of that.”

“For me, looking at our team, our program right now is like looking at a foundation or an iceberg - if you look just at the surface, you're missing a lot of what's going on. This team is about what's growing underneath, and if you've watched us play from the start of the season until now, you've seen that we've got a lot of good things going on.”

“I thought it was probably Maria's best all-around game - she was absolutely outstanding, battled for a full 90 minutes in the midfield in a physical game, challenging for headballs and winning those headballs. I was really impressed with her performance. Tahelah gave us some extended minutes today, and is really starting to look more comfortable. All our seniors gave us everything they could possibly give today, which is all you can ask of them - they battled throughout and worked really hard, and I'm proud of them.”

Next Up

Valpo (0-7-1) hosts its final non-conference home match of the year Friday evening as Colorado State comes to Brown Field for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The match can be seen live on ESPN+.