Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Closes Out Regular Season With Come-from-Behind Win
Adrian Ortiz netted the first two goals of his career on Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)
Adrian Ortiz netted the first two goals of his career on Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Junior midfielder Adrian Ortiz (Berwyn, Ill./Morton West) made the first two goals of his collegiate career count in a big way on Saturday afternoon, bringing Valparaiso back from a one-goal deficit in the second half as the Crusaders earned a 2-1 victory over Cleveland State at Brown Field.  With the win, the Crusaders finish the Horizon League campaign tied for third and will host a HL Championship quarterfinal matchup at Brown Field on Tuesday as the third seed.

“Obviously I am very pleased with our result today against a good Cleveland State team,” said Crusader head coach Mike Avery.   “I thought we played well, and I thought we made good decisions about when to play and build our possession or when to take a more direct route.  We did both effectively, and ultimately I felt that the win was one that was well earned.  Adrian was outstanding today.  His goals were timely and well taken, but even beyond the scoring I thought he controlled the midfield today in both the attack and in defense.”

The victory gives Valpo its ninth victory of the 2009 campaign, matching the most wins in a single season in Crusader history (1987).  The Crusaders also clinched their second season above .500 in program history, while their tie for third place in the league standings is Valpo’s highest league finish since placing third in the Mid-Continent Conference in 2002.

The first half of action Saturday was relatively calm, as while the two sides registered 14 total shot attempts in the opening 45 minutes, only two of those tries ended up on frame.  The action picked up in the second half, however, as ten of the teams’ combined 15 shots went on goal.  Both Crusader netminder Ryan Schwarz (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) and Viking goalkeeper Brad Stuver made saves early in the second stanza to keep the game scoreless.

Cleveland State would break through first in the 53rd minute of action.  Admir Suljevic had possession deep in the Viking offensive end near the right corner and found Anthony Baraldi on a run heading into the box.  Baraldi gained possession and let a shot go from about ten yards out that found its way inside the far post to give CSU a 1-0 lead.  The goal broke Schwarz’s scoreless streak in net at 351:50.

The Vikings had a prime opportunity in the 59th minute to extend their advantage to two goals, as Slavisa Ubiparipovic had a shot after Schwarz was drawn out of position.  But while Ubiparipovic placed his shot on frame, Crusader defender Rodolfo Lucas (Mogi Mirim, Brazil/ [Coffeyville C.C.]) was in perfect position on the back line to clear the attempt and keep it a one-goal game.

Valpo eventually made its first dent on the scoreboard in the 66th minute.  Lucas played a long ball about 40 yards down the center of the field to just outside the penalty area, where Kevin Miller (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) used his chest to re-direct the ball ahead and to the left.  The re-direction found its way right to the foot of Ortiz, who beat Harpel from eight yards out to knot up the game.

Less than five minutes later, it was again Ortiz giving the Crusaders the match-winner.  Roby Del Giudice (Toronto, Ont./Robert F. Hall [Wallace State C.C.]) had the ball just outside the area on the right side, and when he was double-teamed, flicked a perfect touch to Clayton Lyons (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) down in the corner.  Lyons sent a cross all the way across the box, where Ortiz gathered it in and found the far post for his second goal of the game.

Valparaiso ended the contest with an 18-11 advantage in shot attempts over Cleveland State (7-7-4, 4-2-2 Horizon), and placed eight shots on goal to the Vikings’ five.  Schwarz made four saves in net in the winning effort, while Harpel made six stops.

The Crusaders celebrated their Senior Day Saturday afternoon in their final regular season home game.  Valpo honored four seniors on Saturday: J.J. Del Castillo (Queretaro, Mexico/Seaholm [Gardner-Webb]), Danny Jeftich (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso [IUPUI]), Lucas and Steve Shively (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central).

“Though there was lot at stake today in terms of playoff implications, today was ultimately about our seniors,” said Avery.  “Each of the four have been tremendous representatives of our program, and they have led us through some tough times to one of the greatest season in the program's history.  I am proud of them, and am thankful for all that they have done for our program.  We're now hopeful we can keep the season alive for a good while longer.”

Valparaiso (9-6-2, 4-2-2) will enter the Horizon League Championship on a five-game unbeaten streak.  The third-seeded Crusaders will officially find out their first-round opponent and game time Tuesday at Brown Field when the league releases its bracket later this weekend following the completion of regular season action.

“We compensated with the absence of Steve today with a "striker by committee" that was led by Zack Stivers, and I thought all the guys battled hard and created some very good chances in both halves of the game,” said Avery.  “We are excited to host a Horizon League tournament game and know that we will have our work cut out for us against a talented Milwaukee team.  Our game a few weeks ago could have really gone either way, and we know that they present us with a tough challenge.”

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 UIC
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana