Despite an 18-3 shot advantage in the second half and Viking red card in the 85th minute, the Crusaders could not overcome a halftime deficit and lost 2-1 to Cleveland State Sunday afternoon at Eastgate Field.
The Brown and Gold scored the match's first goal, but quickly then fell behind and could not get on past Viking keeper Kasey Gray, who made seven saves, four in the second half. The Crusaders lost for the first time all season when scoring first, and fell for only the second time in six home matches.
(Hobart, Ind./Hobart) came off the bench and gave Valpo a quick spark, bouncing a shot off the crossbar that ricocheted to Jeremy Stacy
(Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) on the right side. Stacy served it back to Allendorf in the middle who beat Gray and scored just the second goal of his three-year varsity career and first of the season in the 28th minute. Stacy's assist was his team-leading fourth of the season and the 13th of his career. Stacy and D.J. Catrow
(Springfield, Ohio/Catholic Central) are now tied for third on Valpo's career assist list, three behind all-time leader Brian Thiel.
But less than four minutes later, Ryan Schwarz
(Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) took down a streaking Cleveland State attacker in the corner of the box setting up a Viking penalty kick. David Stewart converted to tie the match, and the Cleveland State captain scored again two minutes later to make it 2-1.
After being out-shot 11-9 while playing into the wind in the first half, the Crusaders had an 18-3 shot advantage with the wind in the second period. The Brown and Gold had several near misses, hitting the post once and crossbar three times in the match.
In the 85th minute, Cleveland State's Bryan Henson picked up his second yellow card of the match, leading to an ejection, and the Crusaders immediately unleashed a barrage of shots in the frantic final minutes. Steve Shively
(Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) put the ball in the net in the closing minutes after a pair of big Gray saves, but the play was ruled offside.
Valpo set season highs in shots (27) and corner kicks (13), and got six shots apiece from Jon Brighton
(Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) and Catrow. Schwarz made four saves, two in each half, and took the loss.
The Crusaders (5-3-0, 1-0-0) will return to Mid-Con play next weekend, taking on Centenary in Shreveport, La. Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in their only match of the week.