Valparaiso goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck (Coralville, Iowa/Iowa City West) tied the team’s single-season record with his seventh shutout of the year, while Wei Ming Wong (Hong Kong/Hong Kong International [SMU]) and Todd Vervynckt (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) tallied goals as the Crusaders defeated IPFW Tuesday night at Brown Field, 2-0.
Zobeck had to make just one save to preserve the clean sheet, as the Crusaders allowed IPFW just four total shot attempts on the night. Meanwhile, the Crusaders fired on all cylinders offensively, tallying 24 shot attempts, including nine on frame. IPFW (6-8-1) goalkeeper Eric Fluck made seven stops in goal for the Mastodons.
“I’m proud of the guys tonight because we had a quick turnaround from the Ohio State game and that second game has been a problem for us this year,” said Crusader head coach Mike Avery. “So I wanted to make sure we were focused coming into tonight, and the guys were. It wasn’t the sharpest performance, but obviously IPFW had something to do with it, as did the weather, with a slippery field. But all things considered, we’re all really happy with what was a pretty dominating performance from start to finish. Our back four played very well, and Zobeck was his usual self, calm and commanding to keep another clean sheet.”
Valpo got on the board early in the midst of a dominant spell of possession, one which resulted in a trio of corner kicks within a 60-second span. On the final corner, late in the 14th minute, Brendan Roth (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) gained possession and put a ball into the box for Guy Shabtay (Ramat-Gan, Israel/Blich [Prairie State C.C.]). Shabtay’s strike was turned away by Fluck, but the rebound came to Wong, just outside the six-yard box. Ming calmly drove the ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the year, giving Valpo a 1-0 lead.
Vervynckt added the insurance tally for Valpo in the 78th minute. The sophomore came into possession after a long lead pass was chested back out to him by Shabtay. Fighting off an IPFW defender, Vervynckt sent a left-footed strike from 25 yards out along the ground inside the right post and out of the reach of a diving Fluck for the 2-0 lead. For Vervynckt, it was his third goal of the year, tying him for team-high honors, while Shabtay tallied his second assist of the game. The Crusaders also had a late goal waved off for a foul in the box and hit the woodwork twice in the final minute of play.
Valparaiso (6-5-3) concludes its four-match homestand with the first of five straight Horizon League contests, as the Crusaders host Milwaukee Saturday evening at 7 p.m. 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.