Despite a late rally that netted three goals, Valparaiso fell to Oral Roberts Saturday night 5-3 in Tulsa, Okla.
Jordan Tatum started the scoring for the Golden Eagles in the 22nd minute, and added his second goal of the match in the 34th minute. Dave Leung closed out the first-half scoring with a goal in the 43rd minute, and found the back of the net again in the 65th minute. Jesse Roque added ORU's final goal in the 74th minute.
The Crusaders attempted a valiant comeback in the late stages of the match. Clifton Brown (Chillicothe, Ohio/Unioto H.S.) put Valpo on the board, beating the keeper one-on-one in the 79th minute. In the 87th minute, Jon Brighton (Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County H.S.) put the ball in the back of the net off a corner kick. Just 45 seconds later, Paul Leitelt (Munster, Ind./Munster H.S.) took a feed from Philip Dennis (Las Cruces, N.M./Las Cruces H.S.) and beat the goalie for his fourth tally of the season, but that was all the Brown and Gold could muster.
The matchup was a physical battle, as the two teams combined for 49 fouls, 27 of which were committed by the Crusaders. Valpo was out-shot by the hosts 19-15, but the Crusaders put nine shots on goal to eight for Oral Roberts (6-3-1, 3-0-0 Mid-Con). Carlos Veron saw most of the playing time in net for the Golden Eagles, making five saves without allowing a goal. Jeff Oleck (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral H.S.) made three saves in the losing effort.
Valparaiso (4-8-1, 2-2-0 Mid-Con) returns to Eastgate Field next Friday to take on the Leathernecks of Western Illinois. The Mid-Con tilt is slated for a 3 p.m. start time.