Contact: Greg Murphy
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Freshman Vickie Havas scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season, but Cleveland State was dealt a 2-1 setback by Valparaiso in the Horizon League home opener for the Vikings on Friday night at Krenzler Field.
CSU slipped to 3-8 overall and 0-2 in league play, while the Crusaders improved to 7-3-1 this season and won their league opener.
The Vikings had several quality scoring chances early in the first half, the first coming less than five minutes into the match when Havas found herself about 10 yards out. But her shot was saved by Valparaiso's Kristen Manski. Havas also had a header attempt sail just over the crossbar late in the half.
Valparaiso scored first, taking a 1-0 lead at the 32:22 mark when Luisa Desario beat her defender just outside the box on the left wing and sent a shot to the far post that beat CSU's Becca Coleman. It remained that way until there was one second left in the first half when the Crusaders tallied their second goal.
With the clock winding down in the first half, Rachel Hoaglin took a pass from Rita Craven at the top of the box and got off a final desperation shot that trickled through the hands of Coleman, giving Valparaiso a 2-0 lead at the intermission.
The Vikings got on the board with just under 12 minutes to play thanks to a quick counter attack.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Wood scooped up loose ball in the box and quickly threw it out to senior Jaime Avona who used a quick touch with her left foot to send the ball into CSU territory. A misplay by a Crusader defender allowed Havas to get the ball just outside the box where she beat Manski and finished in an open goal.
For Havas, it was her fifth goal of the season, the second most in the Horizon League. Combined with her league-leading four assists, Havas also moved into a tie for first place in the league with 14 points.
She has scored at least one point in seven of CSU's 11 matches this year.
The Vikings continued to press on the offensive end, but were unable to come up with the tying goal despite a few quality chances. The most notable was a blast by Avona that Manski saved with about one minute to play.
The Crusaders outshot CSU, 10-8, and also had a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Coleman and Wood both made one save, while Manski recorded three saves. Tonight's win marked the first time Valparaiso allowed a goal in their seven wins as they entered the contest with six shutouts.
CSU will be back in action on Wednesday (Oct. 3) when the Vikings host Green Bay at 5:00 p.m. at Krenzler Field. It will be a doubleheader with the CSU men hosting Belmont at 2:00 p.m.