A penalty kick off the foot of Jackie Thomas (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest H.S.) proved to be the difference in the match on Friday afternoon as Valparaiso defeated Belmont 1-0 at Eastgate Field.
Thomas took the penalty kick and scored into the left side netting at the 60:29 mark for her third goal of the season, all match-winners. She has moved into a tie for fourth place on Valpo’s single season list for match-winners and now has four in her career, tied for sixth best in school history.
“I was pleased to see Jackie step up and take the penalty kick,” Valpo head coach Stephen Anthony said after the match. “Anytime you have a player step up and take the leadership and wants the responsibility to take the penalty kick it is encouraging.”
Lynnea Pappas (Parma, Ohio/Holy Name H.S.) earned the foul in the box, stealing the ball from a Bruin defender and spun before being hauled down.
The goal was the first allowed by Belmont (4-1) all season.
The Crusader defense stifled the Bruins’ attack, allowing just two shots total for the match, and none in the second 45 minutes. Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) earned her third shutout of the season while continuing to add to her school record with 17 in her career, making just one save in the victory.
It was a solid defensive effort,” Anthony said. “Anytime you can limit a team to less than five shots for the match you’ve done your job on the defensive end.”
Valparaiso (4-2) fired 12 shots in the match, six in each stanza, forcing Belmont netminder Micaela Crowley to make five saves. The Crusaders also earned six corner kick opportunities on the afternoon, while surrendering just two.
“I was pleased with the result and how the team responded after the loss to Purdue,” Anthony concluded. “I thought we did a nice job of keeping possession of the ball and we were together in our attack.”
The Crusaders will return to action on Sunday afternoon as Valparaiso hosts Northern Iowa at Eastgate Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. with all the action carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.