This time, the goal came
during the run of play, but other than that, the Valparaiso
men’s soccer team ended Wednesday’s game at Western Michigan the same way its
last contest ended: a Zack Stivers (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg)
marker in the first overtime giving the Crusaders a 2-1 victory.
“Wednesday afternoon games on
the road are always difficult,” said Crusader head coach Mike Avery. “We came in
today and faced a Western Michigan squad which
played a very physically tough game, with lots of energy throughout. We knew we had to be both patient and
persistent today, and we were both, and it paid off with a chance we converted
on in overtime. I’m really proud of the
guys today for a good win.”
The eventual game-winning
play began when Steve Shively (Indianapolis, Ind./North
Central) fed Brendan Roth (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial)
on the left flank in the 96th minute. Roth immediately touched it back to Shively, who served the
ball into the box. Stivers was waiting
there and volleyed the ball inside the near post for his team-high third goal
of the season and second straight match-winner.
Valpo got on the board first
in the 22nd minute with reversed roles. After a punt ahead by Ryan Schwarz (Rockford,
Ill./Boylan Catholic), Stivers eventually gained possession and flicked the
ball ahead to Roth, who found himself one-on-one with WMU netminder Cody
Camp. The redshirt sophomore eluded Camp
and found the back of the net for his first goal in the Crusader kit.
Michigan would knot up the
match midway through the second half in the 66th minute, when Remi
Sanderford chipped a ball in for Saeed Sulemana Baba, who headed it in from the
right side for the equalizer. Neither
side would put another shot on goal until the second minute of the extra
session, when Schwarz made a save on WMU’s Tyler Rosenhagen, while Valpo’s next
shot on frame resulted in the match-winner.
Valparaiso held a slight 9-8 advantage in shot attempts over Western Michigan (0-5-0) and put seven shots on goal to
the Broncos’ three. Schwarz made two
saves in the winning effort, while Camp stopped five shots.
“We played a lot of guys
today because of the number of games we’ve had in a short period of time,” said
Avery. “We really relied on our depth,
and everybody that stepped on the field did a good job for us. In particular, Jonathon Smith (McKinney, Texas/McKinney)
played his first minutes of the season today at right back and really did a
Valparaiso (3-2-0) closes out the pre-league portion of
its schedule at Brown Field on Sunday when the Crusaders host Saint Francis (Pa.). Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m., and all
the action can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso and online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will
also have a link for live stats.