Despite outshooting Valparaiso by a margin of 20 shots, the Golden Grizzlies women's soccer team fell 2-1 to the Crusaders in Mid-Con action Sunday. The loss drops Oakland's overall record to 6-10-0 and 2-2 in conference play, while Valparaiso improves to 5-8-1 and finishes in second place with 4-1 in the conference.
Costly mistakes proved to get the better of Oakland. The first mistake came in the opening 45 seconds of play where Valpo got a lucky break and Lori Moore beat OU goalkeeper Sarah Buckland (Burlington, Ont.) to put Valpo to an early 1-0 lead. Both teams continued to battle in the first half and Oakland had many quality chances - outshooting Valpo 13-4. However, the first half remained 1-0.
Five minutes into the second half Oakland committed another mistake and it was again Moore who would capitalize for Valpo and score the game winning goal. After an OU defender fell on the ground, Moore was given a one-on-one opportunity with Buckland (Burlington, Ont.) in which she managed to slide the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Oakland did not give up however, and continued to pressure Valpo in their third of the field. At 55:47 in the game, freshman forward Kristi Swaving (Alburquerque, New Mexico) picked up her seventh goal of the season to put OU on the board. Swaving's (Alburquerque, New Mexico) goal was scored off a cross from fellow forward Debbie Cartmel (Merseyside, England).
Oakland continued to apply pressure and outshoot the Crusaders. Swaving (Alburquerque, New Mexico) was given another opportunity to score after having already beaten Valpo's goalkeeper yet the shot went wide to the side of the net. Perhaps Oakland's best chance to tie the game came with just ten minutes left to play when Cartmel (Merseyside, England) was hauled down inside the penalty box by Valpo's keeper. Junior Erica Demers (Welland, Ont.) attempted the penalty kick however shot the ball over the net. Oakland then had one more chance to tie the game on a Swaving (Alburquerque, New Mexico) breakaway that once again sailed wide from the net.
"Valparaiso played a good game," commented head coach Nick O'Shea. "They came ready to play and were pumped for the game. We had some ample opportunities but could not finish."
Oakland created 26 shots throughout the game while Valpo was limited to just six. Oakland also had five chances to score on corner kicks compared to Valpo's one.
Valpo goaltender Kristen Templin made eight saves on the day while OU's Buckland (Burlington, Ont.) recorded four.
Oakland returns to action next Friday where they complete their Mid-Con schedule against IUPUI in Indianapolis at 5:30 p.m.