Game #5: Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m. CDT
Valpo (2-2, 0-0 Mid-Con) at Belmont (3-0-1, 0-0 Atlantic Sun)
Game #6: Sunday Sept. 10, 2 p.m. CDT
Valpo (2-2, 0-0 Mid-Con) at Lipscomb (1-3, 0-0 Atlantic Sun)
This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso heads to Nashville, Tenn. this weekend for a pair of matches against Atlantic Sun foes. On Friday, the Crusaders will face the Bruins of Belmont before heading across town on Sunday to face the Lady Bisons of Lipscomb.
On the Air: Friday's match at Belmont will be available online through Belmont at http://www.belmontbruins.com/athletics/bruinsradio.html. Sunday's contest at Lipscomb will not be broadcast.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Belmont are meeting on the soccer field for the first time in the school's history. The Crusaders and Lipscomb have met once before, last season in Valparaiso, with the Crusaders posting a 6-1 win over the Lady Bisons.
Scouting Belmont: The Bruins remain unbeaten at 3-0-1 entering this weekend's contest with the Brown and Gold after a win and a tie last weekend. Belmont played to a 2-2 double overtime draw at Central Arkansas on Sunday after posting a 2-0 shutout at Arkansas-Little Rock last Friday. Kari Lennon leads the Bruins with 11 points on five goals and an assist while Lauren Uremovich has two goals and a helper. Sarah Brandt has dished out three assists while in goal, Micaela Crowley has logged a majority of the minutes, posting a 0.59 goals against average.
Scouting Lipscomb: The Lady Bisons snapped a 31-match winless skid on Sunday afternoon with a 6-1 victory at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Lipscomb had managed just two ties during the stretch before the breakthrough victory. Lipscomb is rebuilding this season, with just five starters back from the 2005 squad.
Wrapping Up Last Week's Action: The Crusaders opened last weekend with a 4-1 victory over future Horizon League opponent Cleveland State on Friday afternoon. Sarah Jewell scored her second of the season to open the scoring, before the Vikings tied it at one heading into intermission. Valpo erupted for three second half goals, with Lori Johnson's match-winner coming just 74 seconds into the stanza. Kendall Brown and Jessie White each added tallies as well. On Sunday against Akron to wrap up the three-match homestand, the Crusaders dropped a 1-0 decision to the Zips. Kate Ferrara scored the lone goal of the match in the 79th minute. Erin Murray made four saves to keep the Brown and Gold close.
Freshman Leads Valpo in Scoring: She may be listed on the roster as a freshman, but Sarah Jewell has played like anything but one in the early going for the Crusaders, leading the team in scoring with a pair of goals. She has taken six shots this season, five of which have been on goal.
White Tallies First Career Marker: Jessie White found her way on to the score sheet for the first time in her career last Friday afternoon as the freshman scored in the 89th minute against Cleveland State. White took a cross from Laura Murphy in the box and beat the goalkeeper. The rookie has started three of the first four matches for the Brown and Gold.
Johnson Tallies Match-winner Again: As she did twice during her freshman campaign, Lori Johnson tallied her first match-winner of this season last Friday at Cleveland State. Johnson now has three career match-winning tallies, tying for fifth all-time in Crusader women's soccer history.
Brown Moves Into the Top 5 All-Time in Scoring: Sophomore Kendall Brown's found the back of the net for the 11th time in her career (and first this season) against the Vikings of Cleveland State. With the goal, Brown tied Lindsay Holley (2001-2004) for fifth on Valpo's career goal scoring list.
Brown Also Moves Up Shots List: Kendall Brown also has moved into seventh place on the Crusaders' career shots list with 91. With her next attempt, the sophomore will move into a tie with Erin Crowgey (1997-2000) for sixth place on the career charts.
Crusaders Earn Corners Offensively: Valparaiso has done a solid job of winning corner kick opportunities early in the season. The Crusaders have earned a Mid-Con best 24 corner kicks through four matches, six more than any other school in the league.
Murray Continues to Stay a Top the Record Books: Junior netminder Erin Murray continues to hold the career goals against average record for Valpo. Her 1.33 GAA is 0.69 better than second place on the Crusader charts. In addition, Murray's more than 3,513 minutes in goal are second behind Amy Cavanaugh (1996-1999) on that list.
Getting Ready for League Play: Valpo's two matches this weekend mark the final two tune-ups before the Brown and Gold begin Mid-Continent Conference play on September 15 at Western Illinois. The league opener will be a tough one for the Crusaders, as the Westerwinds are a perfect 4-0 entering this week's play.
Dishing out the Assists: Laura Murphy registered yet another assist last weekend, this one coming against Cleveland State. The sophomore now has a team-high three on the season after tallying just one in her rookie campaign. Murphy's three assists enter the week second most in the Mid-Continent Conference.
Embarking on a Long Road Trip: When Valpo heads to Belmont to begin the road trip this Friday, the Crusaders will not see much of Eastgate Field against for a month. The match against the Bruins begins a stretch of four straight away from the friendly confines, as well as a stretch where seven of the next nine contests take place on the road as well.
All-Conference Returnees: Valpo returns four All Mid-Con selections for 2005. Junior goalkeeper Erin Murray along with sophomore defender Jackie Thomas were each First Team selections while sophomore forwards Kendall Brown and Lori Johnson each earned Second Team accolades. Head coach Stephen Anthony also was named Mid-Con co-Coach of the Year.
Valpo Picked Third in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected third in the Mid-Continent Conference preseason poll conducted of the league's head coaches. Valpo earned two first place votes but finished one point behind Oral Roberts in the race for second. Oakland is the preseason favorite.