The Valparaiso University men's soccer team mounted a furious second half comeback to erase a 2-0 deficit, but lost 3-2 to Northern Illinois Sunday at Eastgate Field.
After the Huskies (3-0-1) scored a pair of first half goals, Nate Balfanz (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) put the Crusaders on the board in the 67th minute, heading home a Tyler Pagano (Mudelein, Ill./University of Massachusetts) pass. Minutes later, Chris Goss (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview H.S.) had two point blank attempts go off the crossbar, and Valpo completed the rally in the 86th minute when Jon Brighton (Warner Robbins, Ga./Houston County H.S.) chipped home a cross from D.J. Catrow (Springfield, Ohio/Ohio State University).
The tie would be short lived, however, as with just 1:10 left in the match Chris VanDuerm scored the decisive goal off a scramble in front of the net following a Huskie corner.
The Crusaders (1-3-0) head on the road next weekend for matches Friday at Eastern Illinois and Sunday at Eastern Michigan. They return home to Eastgate Field Saturday, September 24 to open the conference season against UMKC. That match is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m.