The Valparaiso men's soccer team opened the preseason portion of their schedule on Wednesday evening, falling to Bethel (Ind.) 4-1 at Eastgate Field.
Rafael Perez put the visiting Pilots in front at the 29:00 mark from about 30 yards out on a free kick. He added his second of three tallies ten minutes later as Bethel took a 2-0 lead into intermission.
Josh Noland added to the advantage at the 58:11 mark beating backup goalkeeper Sean McGinnis (Barrington, Ill./Barrington H.S.) from about ten yards out.
Mark Korba (Portage, Ind./Portage H.S.) scored the Crusaders lone tally at 60:50 going top shelf from about 15 yards away after taking a pass from Adam Newell (Indianapolis, Ind./Center Grove H.S.). Perez completed his hat trick just 35 seconds later to complete the scoring.
Jeff Oleck (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral H.S.) played the first half in goal for the Brown and Gold, while McGinnis played period two, with each making two saves.
Valpo outshot Bethel 17-15 for the match, but the Pilots held an 8-6 advantage on net.
The Crusaders will play their second of three exhibition matches on Friday afternoon when they host Northwestern beginning at 5 p.m.