Redshirt junior goalkeeper, Tom Serratore (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) and senior midfielder, Jesse Ortiz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora) were selected to the Mike Gibbs Memorial All-Tournament team for their performances against Jacksonville and North Florida on the weekend.
Perhaps the player of the game Friday night against Jacksonville, Serratore kept the Crusaders level with the Dolphins and earned his first career shutout. Playing with a man advantage, the Dolphins were able to fire 8 shots on the night; none of which bothered the Crusaders, however, as Serratore was able to save everything hit on frame.
Serratore’s play Friday night can be summed up by a save made in the 97th minute. The Dolphins hit a free kick that seemed certain to find the back of the net until Serratore made a superb diving save to keep the game level and preserve the draw. Serratore provided a very similar performance on Sunday afternoon as he made 5 key saves on the day.
Ortiz played a vital role in the Crusader’s performance on the weekend, being featured in every minute played; 220 minutes total. On Friday night against Jacksonville, Ortiz fired 4 shots and forced the Jacksonville goalkeeper to make an important save. Playing a man down for the final 23 minutes of play and the duration of overtime, Ortiz kept the midfield organized and connected in order to preserve a 0-0 draw.
On Sunday afternoon, Ortiz provided the Crusaders with another skillful performance, helping the team battle back from a 1-0 deficit to earn a 1-1 draw. Ortiz took 2 shots on the day, firing one on frame.
The Crusader men came out of the weekend with two results, starting the season 0-0-2. The team is back on the road this weekend to take part in the Grizzly/Spartan Crossover Tournament. Valpo begins conference play Friday night as they take on the Oakland Grizzlies. The Crusaders wrap up the weekend Sunday afternoon, facing off against the Michigan State Spartans.