Women’s soccer gets first Horizon League win over Valpo

Matthew Saulino

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Oakland University women’s soccer beat Valparaiso 2-0 Wednesday, Oct. 9 to gain their first Horizon League victory of the season.

Junior forward Kyla Kellermann was part of the action early and often, being involved with both scores for the Grizzlies.

“I think what helped today is that we were really pumped up and had a lot of energy,” Kellermann said.

Kellermann scored just five minutes into the game on a header passed from teammate Alice Palmer. It was Kellermann’s third goal on the year.

“I saw Alice make a great run, and I know she’s great at putting the ball in the box and finding me,” Kellermann said. “I managed to get it in off my head, and we got an early goal.”

In the 59th minute, Kellermann added an assist on a great pass to sophomore midfielder Jaime Horne. The pass opened Horne up for a breakaway chance against Valpo goalie Kristin Manski.

“I think it was off a corner kick where I won the ball and started a counter attack,” Kellermann said. “I looked up the field and really didn’t see anyone, and then I heard my teammate Jamie Horne say ‘let’s go’ up the field I was able to slot the ball through to her.”

Oakland kept the pressure in their favor most of the game, but the Crusaders had some chances of their own.

OU senior goalie Payj O’Shea pitched her third shutout of the year, and was a big reason for the win — she made two remarkable saves during the match. O’Shea had six saves on the night overall.

“Payj is a great keeper,” OU interim head coach Dave Morgan said. “She’s our leader in the back, she can play tremendous and make some great saves.  She’s our last line of defense and first line of offense, we really work with that philosophy and Payj really did a great job tonight.”

“I think this is exactly the win we needed,” O’Shea said. “We needed the motivation, we needed to see that we can do it, and it was really cool that we could do it at home too.”

OU outshot the Crusaders 13-10, even though Valparaiso had a 60 percent shot on target rate.

Morgan said their first Horizon League win meant a lot to the team.

“The first two we had on the road, and that’s always tough,” Morgan said. “It’s nice to be home, we absolutely had to have tonight.”

“I didn’t put pressure on the players, but they responded. There’s a lot of parody throughout the league, and just last week there were four games played, all 2-1 games,” she said.