Valparaiso (4-4-3, 0-1 Horizon)
Match #12: Friday, Oct. 1, 4 p.m. CDT
vs. Loyola (Chicago) (3-8, 1-0 Horizon)
Eastgate Field - Valparaiso, Ind.
Match #13: Sunday, Oct. 3, 12 p.m. CDT
at Butler (3-8, 1-0 Horizon)
Butler Bowl - Indianapolis, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Soccer: After four straight matches away from home, Valparaiso makes a brief stop at Eastgate Field on Friday afternoon as the Crusaders host Loyola (Chicago) in Horizon League action. The Brown and Gold then returns to the road on Sunday, heading south to battle longtime instate rival Butler in Indianapolis.
On the Air: Friday’s match against Loyola will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Sunday’s match will not be available online or over the airways. Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com for both matches though.
Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich holds a 25-19-7 record both overall and with Valpo in his third season at the helm of the Brown and Gold. Just the third head coach in program history, Marovich has the best winning percentage (.559) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories.
Series Notes: Loyola leads the all-time series with Valpo 13-4 in a series that dates back to 1993. The Ramblers are the only school Valpo has played in all 18 seasons of women’s soccer. Loyola has won the last eight meetings between the two schools, including a 1-0 victory in Chicago last season. Valpo’s last win in the series was a 1-0 triumph on November 2, 2001. Butler leads the all-time series 6-1 against the Crusaders dating back to 1997. Valpo defeated the Bulldogs for the first time in school history last season, a 2-0 triumph at Eastgate Field.
Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action: Casey Pedersen’s penalty kick goal provided Valpo’s lone offense at Indiana State, and helped the Crusaders tie the match at one in a contest which would go down as a draw following 110 minutes of action Friday in Terre Haute, Ind. Kristen Manski made five saves for the Crusaders. On Sunday at Detroit, the Titans found the back of the net five minutes into the contest and then again with just over 16 minutes to play on the way to earning a 2-0 victory over Valpo in the Horizon League opener for both schools. Manski made three stops for the Brown and Gold between the posts.
Scouting Loyola: The Ramblers opened Horizon League action last Friday with a 2-1 double-overtime victory at home against Wright State to snap a three-match losing skid. Kristin Papierski leads Loyola with three goals and six points on the season while Tricia Stonebraker and Alex Brown each have three points on a goal and an assist. In goal, Katie Groesch has a 2.07 goals against average and a .642 save percentage. In Loyola’s three wins the Ramblers have scored five goals, yet they have scored just once in the eight defeats.
Scouting Butler: The Bulldogs stepped out of conference action Wednesday night and dropped a 3-1 match to crosstown rival IUPUI. Butler opened Horizon League action on Sunday with a 1-0 victory at home against Wright State. Katie Griswold leads Butler in scoring with six goals and 12 points, while Rachael Melendez has two goals and two assists. Just four Bulldogs have found the back of the net this season. In goal, Olivia Walter has a 2.30 goals against average and a .632 save percentage.
Home Sweet Home: Valpo returns to Eastgate Field on Friday afternoon for the first time since September 12 when the Crusaders shutout IUPUI 1-0. The Crusaders are 1-0-1 at Eastgate Field this season and are looking to put the four-match roadtrip in the past. Valpo went 0-3-1 during the span away from home, but is 2-1-1 at home this year (including the matches at Brown Field).
A Short-lived Homestand: Valpo cannot get too comfortable with the comforts of home though, as the Crusaders return to the road again on Sunday to begin their final road trip of the season. Valpo will play three straight matches away from the friendly confines, before returning home for the final three matches of the regular season.
Road Warriors: Valpo finished a four-match road trip last Sunday but will only come home for one match before returning to the road for three more contests beginning this Sunday. Seven out of eight road matches is the longest such stretch since Valpo played seven consecutive road contests during the 1994 season.
Converting Penalty Kicks: Casey Pedersen’s goal last Friday came via penalty kick after Brooke Henderson was fouled inside the penalty area. Pedersen’s penalty kick goal was the first for Valpo this season. The Crusaders’ last penalty kick tally came August 30, 2009 when Jackie Kondratko converted a one for the lone goal of the match in a 1-0 victory at IUPUI. Valpo’s last failed penalty kick came on October 8, 2006 when Liberty Ziegahn’s attempt was saved against Lewis. Valpo has converted its last four attempts since the miss.
Nearing the All-Time Charts: Luisa Desario enters the weekend with nine career goals, just two shy of moving into the top-10 all-time at Valpo. Rachel Hoaglin is one tally behind Desario with eight goals as both players move through their sophomore seasons. Desario is also tied for ninth all-time with four career match-winning goals. Her 23 career points also rank just three points outside of the top-10 in the all-time charts.
Pencil Them in the Lineup: Junior Tracy Roos has started all 51 matches during her career at Valpo. Sarah Melhorn also has an impressive streak of her own, having started the last 49 straight matches dating back to the 2008 campaign.
And When They Start They Finish: In addition to starting every match this season, Tracy Roos and Sarah Melhorn have also stayed on the field for all 1063 minutes this season. Goalkeeper Kristen Manski has joined them in playing every minute.
Looking to Continue the Winning Tradition: Valparaiso enters the 2010 season having posted six consecutive winning seasons following last year’s 11-9-1 record overall. Last year also marked the sixth 10-win season in program laurels, all of which have come during the last six years.
On the Shutout Charts: Freshman netminder Kristen Manski has already registered three shutouts this year, and is tied for eighth on the single season charts. In fact, her two clean sheets also rank her in a tie for fifth place on the career lists.
She Shoots, She Scores: Luisa Desario is second in the Horizon League with 32 shot attempts this season. The sophomore now has fired off 93 total shots since arriving on campus last season, and ranks eighth on the career charts at Valpo, having just past Erin Crowgey (1997-2000). Desario trails Allison Swanson (2002-2005) by 10 shot attempts for seventh on the career list. Desario had nine shots at Evansville on Aug. 29, still a season high this year for any Horizon League player.
Crusaders Picked Third in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish third in the Horizon League this season according to the preseason poll. The Crusaders finished third in the regular season a year ago before advancing to the tournament championship match.
This and That: Every Crusader field player with the exception of Katie Gratzianna has fired at least one shot attempt this season ... Sarah Melhorn leads all active players having played 5,602 career minutes ... Sammy Olson will surpass the 4,000 minute mark this weekend after she plays 55 more minutes.