Valparaiso rallied from a two-goal second half deficit to force overtime, but Eastern Michigan found the back of the net in sudden death to earn a 3-2 double-overtime victory over the Crusaders on Friday evening at Brown Field.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with the loss, but our character was tremendous tonight,” head coach John Marovich said. “We learned what it means to battle back. The atmosphere out here was superb again tonight.”
The Eagles took advantage of a pair of Crusader turnovers in the first half to build a 2-0 lead at intermission. Chelsea Detrick picked up a miscue at the top of the box and scored the match’s first goal at the 21:42 mark. Just over five minutes later, Maggie Christensen added the second goal, again picking up a Valpo turnover and beating Kristen Manski (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) one-on-one in the box.
Valpo outshot Eastern Michigan (3-2-1) 7-6 in the opening 45 minutes, but Monique Budani made a pair of stops to keep the Eagles on top.
“We got scattered in the first half and gave away some goals,” Marovich added. “But I’m proud of this team. We came out the second half and evened the game. We even put a ball off of the crossbar in overtime.”
Cranking up the offense is what Valpo did in the second half. Casey Pedersen (Northville, Mich./Mercy H.S.) started the first goal with a pass in the box to Trisha Wladecki (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake H.S.), who slid it to Catherine Terrell (Brighton, Mich./Brighton H.S.) on the left side. Terrell beat Budani from eight yards out to cut the deficit in half.
Less than two minutes later, with 27:25 to play in regulation, Pedersen sent a header onto the foot of Luisa Desario (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett H.S.), who drilled a shot from 15 yards out to tie the match at two.
Neither side could find the back of the net during the rest of regulation, despite several flurries at each end of the field.
Pedersen had a chance to win the match for Valpo less than two minutes into the first overtime, hitting the crossbar and then sending the rebound just wide.
The Crusaders put on the pressure throughout the first 10 minute extra session, outshooting Eastern Michigan 3-0.
The Eagles found the match-winner 3:08 into the second overtime though, as Paige Sheridan picked up a loose ball off of the foot of Julie Kaim on a scramble in the box and scored the decisive goal.
The Crusaders finished the match outshooting the Eagles 15-13 and held a 5-3 advantage in corner kick opportunities. Manski made three stops between the posts for Valpo while Budani finished with four saves.
Valparaiso (3-1-2) will close out its three-match homestand on Sunday afternoon hosting IUPUI in a 3 p.m. match at Eastgate Field. All of the action can be heard live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpoathletics.com.
Match Notes: Valpo is now 0-1-2 in overtime matches this season … Pedersen’s two assist night was her first as a Crusader … Eastern Michigan leads the series 5-1 and has won five straight meetings … Desario now has a team-leading three goals on the year … Valpo is now 4-2 all-time at Brown Field.