Jeff Oleck (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) broke Valpo's all-time shutout record with the 13th of his career, and fourth of the season, as the Crusaders played the Western Illinois Leathernecks to a 0-0 double-overtime tie Friday afternoon at Eastgate Field.
Oleck made four saves and recorded his fourth shutout in the last six matches, but Western Illinois' Dave Hanlon was just as sharp on a day when neither offense had many good scoring chances.
The Crusaders outshot the Leathernecks 12-9, including firing all four shots in the second overtime period. Most Valpo chances came off of Nate Hyde (South Bend, Ind./Clay) throw-ins in the offensive zone, resulting in header chances and scrambles in front of the Western Illinois goal. Junior Chris Goss (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview) had a match-high four shots, including two on goal.
The strong defense also led to very physical play, with the two teams combining for 55 fouls and two yellow cards. A season-high 32 of the fouls were whistled against the Crusaders.
Western Illinois (4-8-1, 2-1-1) remained just ahead of the Crusaders in a very tight conference race. Valpo currently sits in the fourth spot in the league, still in position to qualify for the four-team Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. Valpo has one remaining league match, Friday, October 28, on the road against IUPUI.
The Crusaders (4-8-1, 2-2-1) will be in action Sunday afternoon in non-conference play against Cleveland State. That match is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio.