Four games against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago highlight the 2010 schedule for the Valparaiso men’s soccer program, as released today by Crusader head coach Mike Avery.
The exhibition season consists of a pair of home matches at Brown Field, where the Crusaders will play all their home matches for the second straight season. Northern Illinois comes to Valpo for a preseason game on Saturday, August 21, while the Crusaders will play a Varsity vs. Reserves match one week later.
The regular season kicks off with a five-game swing away from home, as the Crusaders travel to UNLV’s tournament to face the host Runnin’ Rebels (Sept. 4) and UC-Riverside (Sept. 6). One week later, Valpo will head north to Milwaukee to play in the Marquette Invitational, taking on Santa Clara (Sept. 10) and FloridaGulf Coast (Sept. 12). A road game at IUPUI Sept. 17 concludes the season-opening road trip.
The home schedule begins on Sunday, Sept. 19 when the Crusaders host Bowling Green. Other non-league home matches include meetings with Western Illinois, Western Michigan and Eastern Illinois, while Valpo will also play non-league road games against Big Ten foes Michigan and Ohio State, the latter of which finished the season inside the nation’s top 25.
The eight-game Horizon League schedule features one match against each of the other seven league schools, starting with a home meeting Friday, Sept. 24 against Milwaukee. Valpo will face the league’s NCAA Tournament representatives, Butler and Green Bay, on the road while also taking on Loyola and Cleveland State away from home. Meanwhile, the Crusaders will also host Wright State, UIC and Detroit, with the Nov. 6 home game against the Titans representing the regular-season finale. The top six teams in the league’s regular season standings will make the 2010 Horizon League Championship, which begins Nov. 9.