Valparaiso will serve as the top seed in this week's Mid-Continent Conference Women's Soccer Championship beginning Thursday in Rochester, Mich. and face Western Illinois in the semifinals beginning at 10 a.m. CST.
The Crusaders won the Mid-Con regular season title for the second straight year, winning it outright for the first time in school history after sharing the crown in 2005. This is Valpo's sixth trip to the conference championship over
Valpo (12-3-3, 4-0-2 Mid-Con) has already assured itself of its best winning percentage in school history, and has set new school mark with 38 goals on the year. Defensively, the Brown and Gold has posted a 0.74 goals against average on the year.
Western Illinois (10-7, 3-3) enters as the tournament's fourth seed. The Westerwinds are in the championship for the second straight season and fourth time overall. Valpo won the first meeting with Western Illinois, 1-0 in overtime, back on September 15 in Macomb, Ill.
In the second semifinal on Thursday, beginning at 1 p.m. CST, second-seeded, and tournament host, Oakland (7-10, 4-2) will battle Southern Utah (5-9-3, 2-1-3), the third seed. The semifinal winners will meet at 12 p.m. CST on Saturday for the championship and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Women's College Cup.
Valpo defeated Oakland, 2-1, in Rochester back on October 1 and tied Southern Utah at home, 1-1 in double-overtime, on October 26.
Thursday's match against Western Illinois will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Should the Crusaders advance to Saturday's championship match, that contest would be carried live on www.sportsjuice.com.