Valparaiso went on the road Wednesday to close out its exhibition season, tying Saint Francis (Pa.) 1-1 in Loretto, Pa.
The Red Flash, which has made two straight appearances in the NEC championship match, hit the board first, scoring midway through the first half. The Crusaders knotted up the score early on in the second half, as Rodolfo Lucas (Mogi Mirim, Brazil/ (Coffeyville C.C.) found Jon Obial (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin), who fed Paul Leitelt (Munster, Ind./Munster) just outside the left side of the 18-yard box. Leitelt turned and fired a shot that found its way inside the right post to tie the match at one.
“This was a great game for us,” said Crusader head coach Mike Avery. “Saint Francis is a legit Division I opponent that helps prepare us for the level of Horizon League play. The game was a very even one and both teams had plenty of chances. We played well and were definitely improved today from where we were on Saturday, and we should continue to improve over the next nine days leading up to the opener.”
Valpo kicks off regular season play on Friday, August 29 at Eastgate Field at 4 p.m. against Eastern Illinois. It will be Poster Giveaway Day at Eastgate Field, and in addition, the first 20 students through the gates will receive free t-shirts.