Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Women's Soccer Heads to UMKC for Saturday's Season Opener
Sarah Melhorn is the only true senior on this year's roster. (Ray Acevedo)
Sarah Melhorn is the only true senior on this year's roster. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Valparaiso (0-0, 0-0 Horizon)
Match #1: Saturday, Aug. 21, 7 p.m.
at UMKC (0-0, 0-0 Summit)
Durwood Soccer Stadium & Recreational Field (850) - Kansas City, Mo.

This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso opens the 18th season of women’s soccer on Saturday evening as the Crusaders travel to Kansas City, Mo. to battle the Kangaroos of UMKC.  The Crusaders are coming off of a trip to the Horizon League championship match in 2009 while the Kangaroos are beginning just their second season of varsity intercollegiate soccer.

On the Air: There will be no live audio from Kansas City on Saturday evening.  WVUR’s (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) coverage of Crusader soccer will begin on Aug. 27 with the home opener against Eastern Illinois.  Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com for the match against UMKC though.

Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich holds a 21-15-4 record both overall and with Valpo heading into 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 (.575) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and UMKC are meeting on the pitch for the first time in women’s soccer.  The Crusaders and Kangaroos were both members of the Mid-Continent Conference until 2007 when Valpo moved to the Horizon League.  However, UMKC’s women’s soccer program had not been founded when the Crusaders left the conference.

Wrapping Up Exhibition Action: Valpo won both of its preseason tune-up contests last week in preparation for the regular season opener.  The Crusaders opened with a 1-0 victory over Illinois State in Normal, Ill. on Tuesday, Aug. 10.  Hailey Chmela scored the lone goal of the match with just 14:15 remaining in regulation while Kristen Manski made three saves in goal to preserve the shutout.  In the final exhibition contest on Sunday (Aug. 15), Luisa Desario broke a scoreless tie just over 10 minutes into the second half as the Crusaders went on to a 3-0 win against Oakland at Eastgate Field.  Catherine Terrell and Katie Gratzianna both found the back of the net as well, while Manski made three more stops for the Crusaders in the victory.

Scouting UMKC: The Kangaroos split a pair of exhibition contests beginning with a 3-0 victory over Johnson County Community College on Saturday, Aug. 14.  UMKC fell in its preseason finale 2-1 on Wednesday (Aug. 18) against Rockhurst, playing both matches at home.  Following the match with Valpo on Saturday, the Kangaroos will take to the road for seven straight contests.  UMKC is coming off of a 1-17-1 record in its inaugural season of 2009 and has been predicted to finish in ninth place this season in The Summit League.  Sophomore Zaina Mayer, the team’s top scorer a year ago with five goals and 11 points, returns to lead the offense for UMKC.  Jami Finnell played every minute in goal last season for the Kangaroos, posting a 2.77 goals against average.

Valpo in Season Openers: The Crusaders are 4-13 all-time in season openers, and had their four-year season-opening win streak snapped in 2009 after suffering a 2-1 overtime loss at Morehead State.  Valpo is 1-8 all-time when opening the season on the road, with the lone victory coming in 2006, a 2-1 overtime triumph over Indiana State in Terre Haute, Ind.

Matching the Earliest Start in Program History: An August 21 start date matches the earlier the Crusaders have ever opened a season.  Valpo also opened on August 21 a year ago in Morehead, Ky., falling in overtime 2-1.  The Brown and Gold is 6-15 all-time when playing in the month of August.

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.

Team Captains: Valpo will have co-captains for the 2010 season.  Junior Tracy Roos has been named a team captain for the second straight season and will be joined in that role by senior Sarah Melhorn.

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.

All-League Selections Return: Rachel Hoaglin and Luisa Desario, both of whom earned All-Horizon League honors as a freshman last season, return for year number two with the Brown and Gold.  Both were named to the Horizon League’s All-Newcomer Team, with Hoaglin also earning First Team All-League accolades and Desario garnering Second Team All-League honors.  In addition, junior Brooke Henderson was selected to the Horizon League’s All-Tournament Team in 2009.

Pencil Them in the Lineup: Junior Tracy Roos enters 2010 having started all 40 matches during the first two years of career at Valpo.  Sarah Melhorn also enters her senior year with an impressive streak of her own, having started the last 38 straight matches dating back to the 2008 campaign.

Among the School’s Best as a Freshman: Rachel Hoaglin had a productive freshman season for the Crusaders one year ago.  She led Valpo in goals, assists, and points as a rookie, breaking into the top-10 on the single season charts in all three categories.  Her seven goals tied for seventh all-time for a single season while her five assists tied for third among Crusaders in school history.  Her 19 points also ranked sixth on the charts.

This and That: Amanda Ulin will become the first player ever in the Crusader women’s soccer program with the last name beginning with “U” ... Valpo’s schedule has the Crusaders playing 10 straight non-conference matches during the first half of the year before facing its eight Horizon League foes.

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