"Valparaiso's standard of quality was better than us for the first 15 minutes... because of that they earned the victory," said head coach Kai Edwards. "I felt our ball possession in the 2nd half was very good, we just need to translate that to the beginning of the game."
The game winner was scored early on in the 8th minute by the Crusaders. Valpo's Jordyn Ryfiak scored on a rebound in the box for the 1-0 lead.
Saint Mary's did have some chances to get the equalizer in both halves, but none of the shots found the net. Saint Mary's outshot Valpo 13-11 while Valpo had a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Khayla Jones had two saves for SMC, facing all 11 Valpo shots.
Katy Roby led SMC with three shots while Brooke Herrick, Noria Mitchell and Vicki Shimkus added two shots apiece.
Kristen Manski had three saves for the Crusaders in notching the shutout.
Saint Mary's is back in action on Sunday when it hosts CSU Bakersfield at 12:00 p.m. in Saint Mary's Stadium.