Playing a man down for most of the match, D.J. Catrow's (Springfield, Ohio/Catholic Central) two second half goals erased a 2-0 deficit and gave the Crusaders a 2-2 (2ot) tie against Xavier Sunday at Eastgate Field.
Freshman Brett Bermes (Portage, Ind./Portage) picked up a red card in the 41st minute with the score already 1-0 Xavier, thanks to a Matt Kmetz goal. With the score still 1-0 in the 61st minute, Toni Skudrzik beat Sean McGinnis (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) to put the Musketeers up 2-0.
From that point on, however, Catrow took over. The junior wowed the crowd with his ball handling and breakaway speed, and outraced Xavier keeper Liam Curran to a loose ball in the 75th minute, scoring his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Four minutes later, Catrow got on the board again, this time heading home a Jeremy Stacy (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) corner to tie the match at two.
Even before Bermes' red card, Valpo was already short-handed. Jon Brighton (Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) did not play after picking up a red against IUPUI on Friday, and defenseman Tyler Pagano (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) also sat out the match after drawing his fifth yellow card of the season Friday night.
For the match, Xavier (3-10-4) out shot the Crusaders 15-11, firing 13 of their 15 shots with the man advantage. Each team had five shots on goal, and each keeper made three saves. There were seven cards issued in the match, four on Valpo, and the Crusaders were whistled for 21 fouls to Xavier's 16.
The Crusaders (6-8-2) will make their first Mid-Continent Conference Tournament appearance since 2002 on November 11 in Kansas City, Mo., but not before closing out the regular season Sunday, November 6 against Michigan State. The Senior Day match is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. and can be heard live on 95.1 FM, WVUR, or online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.