Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Square Off With Mid-Con, Horizon League This Weekend

Thursday, September 14, 2006

THIS WEEK: Oral Roberts at Valpo (Friday, 4:30 p.m.) & Cleveland State at Valpo (Sunday, 1:00 p.m.)

ON THE AIR: Again in 2006, The Source 95, 95.1 FM, is broadcasting all Crusader soccer from Eastgate Field live over the airwaves and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Adam Amin and Source 95 Sports Director Matt Engelbrecht will call Friday's match, with Ron Castor joining Nick Kovatch Sunday afternoon.

SCOUTING ORAL ROBERTS: A perennial contender for the Mid-Con title, the Golden Eagles were picked to finish third in the conference this season in preseason polls. Oral Roberts finished second in the league last season, but two-time Mid-Con Offensive Player of the Year Dave Lueng is out of eligibility, leaving ORU with a big hole to fill offensively. And early this season, the going's been tough offensively where the Golden Eagles have scored only seven times in six matches and been shutout four times. In the series, ORU holds a 6-2-3 advantage all-time including a 5-3 win in Tulsa last season. The Crusaders have not beaten the Golden Eagles since 1998, but earned a 0-0 draw the last time the two met at Eastgate in 2004.

SCOUTING CLEVELAND STATE: The Vikings are in the first year of a rebuilding project, with first year head coach Ali Kazemaini tasked to turn things around from an 0-17-1 season in 2005. Kazemaini was a standout player for Cleveland State during his playing days, and returns six starters and four of the top five scorers from last year's team. And in the first six matches of the year, Cleveland State has been better, winning twice and earning a draw, although they have lost three in a row. This is the ninth all-time meeting between the two teams, with Valpo winning for the first time last season, 5-2 in Cleveland.

LAST WEEK: The Crusaders had a history-making win Friday night at Eastgate, downing Western Michigan 2-0, marking the first time in the program's history a Valpo team started a year 4-1. J.J. Eschenburg tallied the match-winner in the 40th minute and Jon Brighton added an insurance goal in the second half. The whitewashing was also the second career shutout for freshman keeper Ryan Schwarz, who also held DePaul scoreless in the opening match of the season. Sunday, the Brown and Gold came back to earth a bit, falling 5-1 to Buffalo at a soggy Eastgate Field. The Bulls took a 4-0 lead into the 74th minute when Mark Wolka scored to get Valpo on the board with assists from Andrew Stewart and Clifton Brown.

ONE LAST RUN: Friday's match against Oral Roberts marks the beginning of Valpo's final season in the Mid-Continent Conference, and the final chance for the Crusaders to bring a conference title back to Valparaiso. The Brown and Gold put together a 3-2-1 season in 2005, their most conference wins since the 1998 team won the second of back-to-back regular season titles. Valpo's fourth-place finish last season was also their highest regular season finish since 2002, which was also the last time, before 2005, that the team went to the Mid-Con Tournament. In 2007, the Crusaders will move into the Horizon League to rejoin many familiar foes from the early years of the Mid-Con including Cleveland State, Valpo's opponent Sunday. The Vikings are the only Horizon League team on the Crusader schedule this season.

GOAL GLUTTONY: The 2006 Crusaders have lit up the scoreboard everywhere they've played this season, scoring 15 times in the season's first six matches. The team offensive surge has been accompanied by a couple of four-goal weekends from Paul Leitelt and D.J. Catrow. The two each won Mid-Con Offensive Player of the Week honors for their outbursts, and Leitelt was named the NSCAA and Soccer Times National Player of the Week for his opening weekend effort that included the first Valpo hat trick in 11 years.

SENIOR SURGE: Two senior forwards, J.J. Eschenburg and Mark Wolka are also taking advantage of Valpo's new-found offense and having career years. Eschenburg has two fewer points this year (7) than he did in his first three seasons and Wolka's two goals are the first two of his four-year career after only one assist in three seasons.

HANDY HELPER: Of course, with all the Crusader goals there have also been plenty of assists, and the man doing most of the passing is senior midfielder Jeremy Stacy. Tied with Eschenburg for the team lead in the category, Stacy now has 12 career assists, the third highest total in school history. Stacy is within four of all-time assist leader Brian Thiel, who also holds Valpo's career goals and points records.

QUICKLY: For the second straight week, the Crusaders are a ranked team, checking in as the #7 team in the NSCAA's Midwest Region rankings.
News Categories
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay