The Valparaiso men's soccer team scored three goals in each half Monday night at Brown Field, opening the 2012 home slate with a 6-1 victory over Saint Joseph's (Ind.).
The Crusaders fell behind in the 16th minute, when the Pumas' Shane McNalley sent a corner into the box which Angel Zamudio struck from the center of the box, 15 yards out, into the back of the net for the game's first goal. But Valpo knotted the match at one apiece less than six minutes later. Sophomore Eric Nieto (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Louisville Collegiate [Ky.] H.S.) ran up the right touch line and sent a cross along the ground all the way through the box. On the other end, senior Jon Smith (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) came up with it with a wide-open net and scored the easy equalizer.
Valpo claimed the lead for good in the 33rd minute, as junior Todd Vervynckt (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) stepped up and knocked home a penalty kick after St. Joe's committed a foul in the box. Nieto added another assist in the 43rd minute with another cross, this one headed in from close range by senior Stipo Zeba (Brookfield, Ill./Morton West).
Fifth-year senior Andy Lynn (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) got on the scoresheet for the first time in his career in the 61st minute. Junior Yannick Iwunze (Paris, France/Hightower [Tex.] H.S. [Barton County C.C./West Virginia]) fed freshman Jordan Aidoud (L'Isled'Abeau, France/CEFAM), who crossed to the far side of the box from the right, where Lynn had a easy header into the back of the open net.
Aidoud and Lynn traded roles just over seven minutes later, with Vervynckt also adding an assist, as a cross tight to the right post was headed home by the Frenchman for his first career goal. Lynn capped the scoring with a minute to play after an interception deep in the attacking end, striking it home from 10 yards.
Valpo out-shot the Pumas on the evening, 28-2, and put 15 shots on goal. Fifth-year senior Kyle Zobeck (Coralville, Iowa/Iowa City West) made one save in net to earn the win in 67 minutes of action, while redshirt sophomore Tom Serratore (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) made his varsity debut and played the fianl 23 minutes. On the other side, Rylan Gentil and Steve Quella each played one half in goal for the Pumas, with Gentil stopping six shots and Quella three.
Valparaiso (1-0-1) remains at home this Sunday, Sept. 2, as the Crusaders play host to former Mid-Con rival Western Illinois at Brown Field. Kickoff is slated 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.
Noteworthy: Lynn's two-goal performance was the first multi-goal game by a Crusader since Zack Stivers scored twice in a win over Western Michigan on Oct. 20, 2010 ... Valpo's six goals as a team are tied for fourth-most in a single match in program history and are the second most in the last 17 years ... Nieto's pair of assists tie him for second in a single match in that category all-time at Valpo ... Erik Boyer and Ben Burnett joined Serratore in debuting for the Crusader varsity on Monday ... 23 players in all saw action on Monday for Valpo.