After 78 minutes without a goal, freshman forward Dana Fish broke the tie with a goal off the left side of the net to win over Southern Illinois University.
“You just keep going and going and going,” said Head Coach Jon Marovich. “It is not necessarily the first hit of the rock that breaks the rock.”
Fish’s game winning goal broke that rock, giving the program its first ever goal over the Salukis and her third goal of her collegiate career.
This game extends the Beacons’
winning streak to four straight games. Sophomore forward Kelsie James believed that Fish’s late game goal showed
her contributions to the team.
“In the last four games, she has been
part of every goal we had,” said James. “Her coming up and stepping up was huge. I love to see the freshmen come in and absolutely kill their role.”
Marovich believes teams function best when everything is brought in to do their job.
“That’s how teams function,”
Marovich said. “You come in and you give what your team needs, and that’s what I think what we saw tonight.”
When James was fouled in the 88th minute, she was issued a free penalty kick. She then chipped in the ball towards the bottom left of the net to put the Beacons up 2-0.
From her perspective, James saw that the Salukis goalkeeper set herself up off-center. James still had the confidence of knowing where to score the ball.
“I saw that the goalie was set up
partially to the right, but it didn’t really matter,” James said. “I knew where I was going to go.”
It would be James’ fifth goal of the season.
The first half started off slow for the Beacons. The team was able to land eight shots with three on target, but had trouble finishing some of the shots on goal.
“We get in there and we need to put our foot through the goal,” Marovich said. “We started to do that a little bit.”
The team stacked up against SIU, finishing the match with 24 shots, 11 of them on goal.
Valpo also forced the hand of SIU’s goalkeeper, making her have to save the ball nine times.
This Beacons win over the Salukis was important for them. Valpo played SIU during the spring season and tied against them in double overtime.
“Last year, we didn’t play to our full potential and most of our beliefs,” James said. “So coming out this year and getting the win was big and it was important to us and meant more than just an average win.”
The win over the Salukis puts Valpo over the total of five wins from last spring season with six.
The last time Valpo won six games in a season was during the 2017 season when the program was in its first year in the Valley.
Although the result provides a new tick in the standings, Marovich sees this victory as being a part of the process of progressing in the Valley.
“Victories are a product of our process, and so what I am more excited about, regardless of the opponent, is the fact that our team is progressing well,” Marovich said.