Broncos and Crusaders Battle to a 2-2 Tie
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan women’s soccer team tied Valparaiso 2-2 in an exhibition match at the WMU Soccer Complex in front of 200 fans on Friday afternoon.
The Broncos took the lead twice on two goals off of corner kicks, but relenting the lead each time. Reigning Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year Stephanie Skowneski got the Broncos on the board first in the 20th minute in the first half. Caitlin Henderson lobbed in a corner kick from the right side with the Crusaders attempting to clear but failing. The ball fell to Megan Putnam and the Kalamazoo native fired a shot with her right foot but Valpo’s Kristen Manski made an excellent save. Skowneski was there to poach the rebound and put it into the net.
Just before the end of the first half Brooke Henderson headed home the Crusaders’ first goal of the game on a corner kick by Tracy Roos.
The second Bronco goal came in the 63rd minute on a header by Anina Cicerone. Henderson placed a perfect corner kick in the box and Cicerone headed it towards the net. A Valparaiso defender tried to deflect the ball away but was unable to keep it out of the net.
The game-tying goal game in the 79th minute after a Crusader free kick. The kick was sent into the WMU box and a collision occurred between Bronco goalie Michelle Watson and a defender, causing Watson to fall down. The ball landed on the feet of Catherine Terrell and she placed it into an empty net to square the game away, 2-2.
WMU outshot the Crusders 17-6 overall with a 8-5 lead in shots on goal. The Broncos were able to dominate possession for most of the first half but Valparaiso stepped up in the second half and pressured the Brown & Gold.
The Broncos head to Milwaukee, Wis., to battle Marquette University to open the 2011 season next Friday at 8:30 p.m.