Valparaiso recorded its second straight shutout and school record eighth of the season on Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, Ohio as the Crusaders defeated Cleveland State 2-0 to improve to 4-3 in Horizon League play, moving into fourth place in the league standings heading into the final week of play.
Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) made three saves on her way to her sixth shutout of the season, tying her own single season school record set in 2004 for clean sheets. Murray now has 20 over her four-year career.
The Crusaders and Vikings battled through a scoreless opening 45 minutes of play with both schools firing just three shot attempts toward goal.
“I thought our patience and discipline paid off today,” head coach Stephen Anthony said. “We had a few good opportunities in the first half and I just thought if we could just continue to play to the outside midfielders in the second half we would get some good chances.”
Valpo took control in the second half, holding a 9-1 edge in the stanza, resulting in a pair of goals. Kendall Brown (Lake Zurich, Ill./Carmel Catholic H.S.) scored from 20 yards out just 6:05 into the second half on an assist from Jessie White (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) for her sixth career match-winning goal, moving her into a tie for third all-time in a Crusader uniform. The goal was Brown’s 18th of her career, moving her into a tie for third on the school’s scoring list as well.
Lauren Cooper (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep H.S.) added an insurance goal, her first of the season, at the 76:36 mark, scoring from 15 yards out on the right side. Dana McGlone (Littleton, Colo./Heritage H.S.) earned the assist, the eighth of her career, moving her into seventh place on the all-time helpers list at Valpo.
Kelly Zinkiewich was forced to make six saves for Cleveland State (4-12, 1-5 Horizon) in the loss.
Valpo held a 4-3 edge in corner kick opportunities as well on the day.
“I am very proud the team’s performance on the road trip,” Anthony said. “Certainly our experience this weekend should help us prepare for our final match and the upcoming Horizon League Tournament.”
Valparaiso (10-7, 4-3) will wrap up the regular season on Friday evening as the Crusaders head to Dayton, Ohio to battle third place Wright State. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CDT with the match shown live on the Horizon League Network through www.valpo.edu/athletics.