Six matches against teams which made the NCAA Tournament last season highlight the 2013 schedule for the Valparaiso men's soccer program, as released today by head coach Mike Avery.
The regular season opens for the Crusaders in Jacksonville, Fla. at the Mike Gibbs Memorial Tournament, with Valpo taking on Jacksonville on Friday, Aug. 30. Two days later, the Crusaders will face North Florida.
Another tournament is on the docket the next weekend, as Valpo travels into Michigan for the Grizzly/Spartan Crossover Tournament. The Crusaders will take the field against new Horizon League member Oakland on Sept. 6 in a match which will serve as the league match between the two schools. Valpo closes tournament play against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Michigan State on Sept. 8.
Non-league action continues at home on Brown Field against IUPUI on Friday, Sept. 13, while the Crusaders will also host Western Michigan (Oct. 30) outside of league play. On the road, Valpo will face four more NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago in Tulsa (Sept. 20), Western Illinois (Sept. 22), Kentucky (Oct. 16) and Michigan (Nov. 4), while also playing Dayton (Sept. 30) and Loyola (Oct. 8) away from home.
The heart of the Horizon League slate commences for the Crusaders Sept. 28 at Wright State, while Valpo will also face Green Bay (Oct. 5) and Cleveland State (Nov. 2) on the road in league play. The Crusaders welcome Milwaukee (Oct. 12), UIC (Oct. 26) and Detroit (Nov. 9) to Brown Field during the Horizon League campaign, with the latter match serving as the regular season finale. The Horizon League Championship runs Nov. 12-17, with the winner earning the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Crusaders will also play a pair of exhibition matches prior to the start of regular season competition, traveling to IPFW on Saturday, Aug. 24 before opening at home against Lewis at 7 p.m. on Monday night, Aug. 26.