Despite taking a brief 2-1 lead late in the first half, Valparaiso dropped its season opener 4-2 to Oregon State on Wednesday evening at Eastgate Field.
The Beavers opened the scoring 9:13 into the contest when Robbie Findley scored from 12 yards out in the box. Mickey Miller II (Tulsa, Okla./Bartlesville H.S.) knotted the match at one midway through the stanza, pushing the ball past goalkeeper Jason Mariner from three yards out after receiving a feed from Owen Hoyt (Spring Grove, Ill./Prairie Ridge H.S.).
Valpo took the lead at the 40:33 mark as Hoyt took a lead pass from D.J. Catrow (Springfield, Ohio/Central Catholic H.S.) at the top of the box and scored after going one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Chad Bartlome tied the match 55 seconds later, taking advantage of a Crusader misplay in the box. The match went into intermission tied at two.
Robby Christner broke the deadlock at the 62:48 mark heading home a corner from Brett Gardner into the near post. After a Valpo red card in the 66th minute meant the Crusaders would play short-handed the rest of the match, Ryan Johnson added an insurance goal at 73:18.
The Beavers outshot the Crusaders 16-5 for the match, holding a 9-1 advantage in the second half. Mariner made one save in goal for Oregon State (1-0) while Jeff Oleck (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral H.S.) made two stops in goal for the Brown and Gold.
Valparaiso (0-1) will look to even its record on Friday evening when the Crusaders host Saint Joseph's (Ind.) in a 5 p.m. match at Eastgate Field.