On Saturday, Oct. 23, Valparaiso earned a 2-1 win over Evansville, producing their tenth win of the season overall.
This also marks the tenth time Valpo has had a season of at least 10 wins in a season in program history. Sophomore forward Kelsie James felt that their success this season was in due part to the work they put in.
“It was a grind for us,” said James. “We all worked really hard, and I am proud of this whole team.”
In the sixteenth minute, James won the game for Valparaiso against Evansville with a goal that was not scored in traditional fashion.
As the Purple Aces’ goalie was about ready to kick the ball, the ball went forward towards James, who had her back towards the goalie.
As soon as James turned around, she saw a low line drive kick from Evansville’s goalkeeper towards her.
“So I saw the goalie dribbling out and saw she was coming really far,” James said. “I turned my head and all of a sudden it started to come to me.”
As soon as James stopped the ball, she kicked the ball from 50 yards away that bounced into an unprotected Evansville net.
“I took a touch across to the defender, and [scored on an] open goal,” James said.
The second goal was again scored by James, but with help behind her. Junior forward Kiley Dugan passed the ball wide and to the right to senior defender Peyton Flynn.
Flynn then kicked the ball into the center of the box, giving James a chance to head the ball in the far post to score the second goal.
“Peyton played a good ball and couldn’t have asked for a better ball,” James said. “I just knew I had to get on the end of it, so I had to do what I could.”
Evansville scored in the 72nd minute against the Beacons, but were held at only one goal thereafter by the Beacons.
With a tenth win of the season under their belts, Valpo is excited about how their work has paid off.
“It is amazing,” James said. “We are really excited about it and we are really happy about it. We have worked really hard through preseason all the way through the regular season.”
This match also marks Valpo’s third time meeting Evansville in the 2021 calendar year. The first match was a 0-0 tie on Mar. 24.
The second match was when Valpo won on penalty kicks 5-3 that gave them the advancement to the semifinal match against Indiana State. For James and the rest of the team, settling this old score was huge for them.
“It’s huge,” James said. “We were really excited about it because of last year. Although we won, it was in PK’s [penalty kicks] and it was over tied.”
After beating Evansville, Valpo traveled to Loyola Chicago on Oct. 28 to grab the opportunity to become the first seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
The Beacons fell 5-0 against the Ramblers. Valpo was shut out in shot attempts throughout the game. Loyola Chicago attempted 26 shots with 11 of them on goal.
Coryell had six saves in the match against Loyola Chicago.