A pair of goals from freshman Jordan Aidoud (L'isled'Abeau, France/CEFAM) helped Valparaiso to a 3-1 victory over IPFW Tuesday evening in non-league play in Fort Wayne, Ind.
"It's always good to get a win on the road, so we're excited about our result tonight," said Crusader head coach Mike Avery. "Overall, I thought we played really well. With the weather, it was definitely not the most ideal situation to play in, but I thought we handled those parts of the game pretty well."
In a game which saw just three combined shots over the first 33 minutes, the Crusaders claimed the lead with just their second shot on goal in the 34th minute. Junior Yannick Iwunze (Paris, France/Hightower [Texas] H.S. [Barton County C.C./West Virginia]) sent a pass to the right side of the area, where senior Jon Smith (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) received it and beat IPFW goalkeeper Brandon Cloutier inside the far post.
IPFW equalized in the 40th minute, as Corey Thompson sent a pass across the middle that Corey Tom chipped in for his fourth goal of the season. Both sides looked for the lead before the half, but Kyle Zobeck (Coralville, Iowa/Iowa City West) stopped a Mastodon chance in the 43rd minute, while Valpo sophomore Gerardo Avelar (San Salvador, El Salvador/Colegio San Francisco) hit the crossbar with an effort just 2:09 before the break.
Valpo took control with a pair of goals from Aidoud in a span of 2:21 early in the second half. Smith had a shot stopped by Cloutier in the 53rd minute, but Aidoud gathered the rebound and found the back of the net to give the Crusaders a 2-1 lead. Then, early in the 56th minute, a foul in the box presented Valpo with a penalty kick, and the French freshman stepped up and knocked it home to push the advantage to 3-1, where the game would eventually end.
"Jordan had a really good match for us - it was good to see him score a pair of goals," said Avery. "Jon was really terrific tonight - definitely the best player on the field. He was all over the place tonight and really brought a lot of energy - just a really senior performance from Jon."
The Crusaders ended the match with an 18-11 advantage in shot attempts, putting seven efforts on frame to four for IPFW (3-14-1). Cloutier made four saves for the Mastodons, while Zobeck stopped three shots to earn the win for Valpo.
Valparaiso (5-7-5) closes out the regular season on Saturday night at Milwaukee in a key Horizon League match. The Crusaders can earn a home match in the Horizon League Championship with a win or a draw against the Panthers. Live stats and live video through the Horizon League Network will be available through www.valpoathletics.com.