In a hard-fought Mid-Con battle at Eastgate Field Saturday afternoon, freshman Eric Weigman scored in the 64th minute to put IUPUI in front and the Jaguars survived several Crusader near misses to earn a 1-0 win.
Weigman made a long run down the left side of the field and beat Crusader keeper Ryan Schwarz
(Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) low and to the near post from 25 yards out to score the decisive goal. It was Weigman's sixth of the season but the first match-winner.
Valpo, meanwhile, squandered several glorious scoring chances in the match, including putting two balls past keeper Drew Deffner in the final 10 minutes only to see a Jaguar defender clear the ball out of harm's way each time. With only three seconds remaining in the match, D.J. Catrow
(Springfield, Ohio/Catholic Central) fed one into the box for Jon Brighton
(Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) who had his point-blank shot turned away by an IUPUI defender to secure the win.
The Crusaders were shutout for the first time all season and lost for only the third time in eight matches at Eastgate Field. Deffner made six saves for the Jags while Schwarz made seven saves in defeat for the Crusaders.
Valpo out-shot IUPUI 16-15 and had four corners to only three for the Jaguars. IUPUI committed 19 fouls, six more than the Crusaders in the physical battle, but the Brown and Gold earned three yellow cards.
IUPUI (7-8-0, 2-2-0) got back into the Mid-Con postseason hunt, joining Valpo, Oakland, Centenary and UMKC in the league with two wins behind 3-0-0 Western Illinois as of early Saturday afternoon. The top four teams in the regular season qualify for the postseason tournament, November 3-5 in Rochester, Mich.
Valpo (7-6-0, 2-2-0) will play its final two conference matches of the season on the road, but next up the Brown and Gold will head to East Lansing, Mich. for a showdown with Big 10 power Michigan State Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Live coverage of the Crusaders and Spartans can be heard on 95.1 FM, WVUR, and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.