The Valparaiso University women’s soccer team twice battled back from a goal down as it opened exhibition play on Wednesday afternoon with a 2-2 draw against Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Mich.
How It Happened
- Western Michigan opened the scoring late in the first half, as a Valpo player scored an own goal off a corner kick in the 43rd minute.
- Less than five minutes after intermission, Valpo leveled the game at 1-1. Junior Savannah Smith (Mahtomedi, Minn./Mahtomedi) sent a long free kick into the box, where junior Adi Johnson (Rockford, Ill./Rockford Christian) was able to head it in for the Crusaders’ first goal.
- WMU regained the lead in the 64th minute on a long strike from Alyssa Burke, but that advantage would be short-lived for the Broncos, as Valpo found the tying goal in the 70th minute. WMU attempted to clear a corner in its defensive end, but the clearance went straight to junior Anna Eksten (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean [Carthage]), who volleyed it home to make it a 2-2 game.
Inside the Game
- There was little separation in the box score between the two sides on Wednesday. Valpo held a slight 10-9 advantage in the shots column, with each squad placing two on goal. Each team attempted five corner kicks as well.
- As is the norm in exhibition play, Valpo gave a number of players some run on Wednesday afternoon in the team’s first competition since reporting to campus a week ago. 20 field players and a pair of goalkeepers saw action for the Crusaders, with just one Valpo player going the full 90 minutes.
Thoughts From Coach Marovich
“This was a really good first step in our journey this season. We found out a lot about how we will respond to adversity, because we responded with great resolve after going down by a goal twice. We scored two quality goals and created some good possession, which shows how our game model is imprinting so early in the season. We’re looking forward to getting back on the training ground with this group this week.”
Valpo closes exhibition play Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. CT at Oakland.