Jeff Oleck (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) notched his fifth shutout of the season and Chris Goss (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview) scored late in the first half to give the Crusaders a crucial 1-0 win at IUPUI Friday night.
The win closes the Mid-Continent Conference portion of Valpo's schedule and puts the Brown and Gold in great position to make their first conference tournament appearance since 2002. Valpo's record in the Mid-Con finishes at 3-2-1, their best league mark since going 3-1-1 in 1998.
In Friday night's match, it was again the Valpo defense that made the difference, recording their fourth shutout in six conference matches, and getting six more big saves from Oleck, the school's all-time leader in shutouts. His fifth shutout of this season is also second best all-time, just one shy of the six shutouts posted by Kevin Hughes in 1987.
In a physical defensive battle, Goss lofted a shot over the IUPUI wall in the 44th minute, his second mark of the season. There were 47 fouls whistled in the match, 31 on Valpo, and eight cards. Valpo earned six of the cards, including a red card issued to Jon Brighton (Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) in the 90th minute.
The Jaguars (4-10-1, 1-4 Mid-Con) outshot the Crusaders 18-15 in the, and got three saves from losing keeper Peter Brasovan.
Valpo (6-8-1, 3-2-1 Mid-Con) returns to action Sunday afternoon at Eastgate Field to take on Xavier (Ohio). First kick is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and that match can be heard live on 95.1 FM, WVUR, and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics beginning at 12:40 p.m.