Match #1: Friday, Aug. 31, 4 p.m. CDT
Murray State (0-0, 0-0 OVC)
at Valpo (0-0, 0-0 Horizon)
Match #2: Sunday Sept. 2, 1 p.m. CDT
Illinois State (0-0, 0-0 MVC)
at Valpo (0-0, 0-0 Horizon)
This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso opens the 2007 season at Eastgate Field this weekend with a pair of matches as the Crusaders begin their first season as members of the Horizon League. The Brown and Gold will host Murray State on Friday afternoon before battling Illinois State on Sunday.
On the Air: Both Friday’s and Sunday’s matches will be carried live by WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Students will be providing both the play-by-play and color commentary.
Series Notes: Valparaiso holds a 3-1 edge all-time against Murray State. The Crusaders won the last meeting between the schools, 2-1, back on August 26, 2005 at Eastgate Field. The Crusaders are 2-0 against the Racers in Valparaiso. Illinois State holds a 4-0 series advantage against the Crusaders, including a victory at Eastgate Field during the 1998 season. The Redbirds won the last meeting between the two schools 2-1 in Bloomington, Ill. on August 27, 2004.
Scouting Murray State: The Racers enter 2007 picked to finish seventh in the Ohio Valley Conference. Murray State went 5-9-4 overall and 2-4-3 in the OVC one year ago, and return 14 letterwinners for the new campaign. Rebekah Clay led the way in 2006 with nine goals and 22 points while Krista Llewellyn added eight goals and 17 points. Both players return for their junior seasons. Murray State is without a returning goalkeeper on the roster this season.
Scouting Illinois State: The Redbirds were predicted to finish in fifth place in the Missouri Valley Conference race this season following a 6-9-3 mark overall and a 2-3-1 league record in 2006. Ammanda Wisniewski is the team’s top returning offensive threat, scoring five goals and tallying 11 total points for Illinois State as a freshman. Katie Grill-Donovan is the only goalkeeper on the roster with experience, having played in three matches as a rookie.
Wrapping Up Exhibition Action: The Crusaders went 0-1-1 over a pair of exhibition contests during preseason. Valpo dropped a 2-0 decision to Creighton on the field turf of Portage High School on August 21. The Bluejays scored a pair of first half goals in the victory. On August 26, the Crusaders battled Evansville to a 1-1 draw on the road. Lori Johnson scored on a cross from Jackie Kondratko in the 52nd minute, but the Purple Aces netted the equalizer five minutes later.
Succeeding in Overtime: The Crusaders are unbeaten in overtime over their last 15 contests (6-0-9) dating back to 2003.
Trio Among Scoring Elite: Valparaiso enters 2007 with three players among the top-eight in school history on the all-time goal scoring list. Junior Kendall Brown ranks fifth all-time with 15 goals while classmate Lori Johnson is tied for sixth with 11 tallies. Sophomore Sarah Jewell ranks eighth in the scoring charts after her 10 goals last year.
McGlone and Murphy Tied for Seventh on All-Time Assist Charts: Dana McGlone and Laura Murphy each start the season in a tie for seventh place on Valpo’s career assist list. The pair each have seven helpers during their career wearing the Brown and Gold.
Johnson and Brown are Winners: Lori Johnson is third in school history with six match-winning goals over the course of her career. Kendall Brown is just one match-winner behind, as her five markers are tied for fourth on the all-time list.
Murray Doubles Up Shutout Record: Erin Murray enters her senior season with 14 career shutouts, twice as many as any other player in Valparaiso history. She also holds three of the top five spots on the single season charts in the same category.
Murray Tops in Save Percentage and GAA as Well: Senior Erin Murray has been a force between the posts for the Crusaders during her first three years. She is tops on the career list with a .786 save percentage while her goals against average of 1.20 is also best all-time.
Valpo Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in sixth place in their inaugural season as members of the Horizon League according to the preseason poll conducted of the league’s head coaches.