Valparaiso (3-1-3, 0-0-1 Horizon)
Crusaders Continue League Play at Wright State; Wrap Up Road Trip at #19 Dayton
Saturday, Sept. 28 – at Wright State (1-4-1, 0-0-0 Horizon) – 6 p.m. CT
Monday, Sept. 30 – at #19 Dayton (7-0-0) 6 p.m. CT
This Week in Crusader Soccer: The Valparaiso men’s soccer team is back in action this weekend as the team travels to Dayton, Ohio for a pair of games. Saturday night, the Crusaders continue their quest for the Horizon League title, taking on Wright State. Valpo then stays in Dayton to take on the #19 Flyers in a Monday night matchup.
Previously: The Crusaders traveled to #12 Tulsa and Western Illinois this past weekend. The Golden Hurricane was able to hand the Crusaders their first loss of the season Friday night. Valpo was able to recover quickly, however, as the team was able to put in a season high five goals against the Leathernecks on Sunday afternoon. With a 5-2 defeat over the home side, the Crusaders pushed their overall record to 3-1-3.
Following The Crusaders: Both matches this weekend will have live stats available through ValpoAthletics.com. Saturday night’s match at Wright State will have free live video available through the Horizon League Network. Over the course of the 2013 season, seven matches will have free live video on the Horizon League Network, including three matches at home. Visit @VUMSO on Twitter to view comments and photos leading up to the games over the weekend.
Head Coach Mike Avery: A former Horizon League Coach of the Year, Mike Avery returns for his seventh season at the helm of the men’s soccer program. As the winningest head coach in the program’s history, Avery has led the Crusaders to 47 wins, multiple winning seasons, and the program’s first-ever Horizon League Title. Under his watch, the program has seen 25 All-League selections, four Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year honorees, one Defensive Player of the Year selection, and one player sign an MLS contract with FC Dallas.
Series Notes: Wright State – The Crusaders’ game at Wright State on Saturday will mark the 12th meeting between the two sides. The Raiders hold a 3-8-0 series against the Crusaders. Under Avery, the Crusaders are 3-3-0 against the Raiders. In the last meeting between the two sides, Valpo was able to take a 2-1 victory. Dayton – Monday night’s game at Dayton will be the first meeting between the Crusaders and Flyers.
Scouting the Opposition: Wright State – The Raiders enter Saturday night’s game at 1-4-1 on the season. Brett Elder leads the team in goals with three, while Chris DuPont leads the team in assists with two. The Raiders’ win came over Marshall in a 3-2-overtime victory. Wright State’s record is somewhat misleading as the team has been in every game they’ve played. Each loss has had the same score line, 2-1. Most recently, the Raiders dropped a 2-1 result on the road at Duke. Saturday night will be the first Horizon League game of the season for Wright State. Dayton – The Flyers enter Monday night’s game ranked #19 in the nation. The Flyers, currently undefeated, have had a fast start to their season scoring 19 goals while only conceding four in seven games played. Abe Keller leads the Dayton attack with four goals and five assists. Dayton is balanced in the attack as five players have scored at least two goals or more on the season. Goalkeeper Chris Froschauer has only given up four goals for a GAA of 0.57.
Regional Rankings: For two consecutive weeks, the Crusaders were ranked #10 in the NSCAA Great Lakes region. This week, the Crusaders are still receiving votes in the region rankings. Valpo last appeared in the region rankings in October of 2011; the year the team won the Horizon League title. The Great Lakes region is widely considered to be one of the toughest regions in college soccer.
Crusaders in League Play: Valpo currently sits at the top of the table in the Horizon League. The Crusaders were able to travel to Oakland and pick up an important league point on the road, earning a 1-1 draw against the Grizzlies. The Crusaders continue their quest for the Horizon League title this Saturday as the team travels to Wright State to take on the Raiders. The Raiders are 0-0-0 the current Horizon League Standings.
Impressive Performance: The Crusaders had an impressive performance from Charles Barden on Sunday afternoon against Western Illinois. Barden finished the game with five points - two goals and one assist. With that performance, Barden now leads the team in goals (3), assists (2), and points (8).
Notables: Valparaiso center back Adrian Graham found goal for the first time in his Crusader career over the weekend. Graham’s goal came off of a corner kick in the 9th minute of the match to put the Crusader up 1-0 over the Leathernecks. Nico Campbell made the second start of his career over the weekend. Campbell made three saves in the game and is now 2-0-0 as a starter.
Heavy Minutes: In four of seven games this season, extra time was necessary to decide the outcome. As a result, many of the Crusaders have played a heavy amount of minutes. Four Crusaders have already exceeded 650 minutes played: Zev Taublieb (657), Jess Ortiz (664), Adrian Graham (669), and Mitch Albrecht (695).
Finishing Chances: After scoring five goals this past weekend, the Crusaders now sit with 11 goals scored for the season. Currently, the Crusaders are averaging 1.57 goals per game. The Crusaders are much more adept at producing goals this season, as six players have each scored at least once. Adrian Graham, Julio Velasquez, and Jordan Aidoud each have one goal this season, while Todd Vervynckt has netted two. Charles Barden and Nick Suker lead the team with three goals apiece.
Ranked Opponents: After this weekend the Crusaders will have played three teams that have been ranked in the Top 25 of the national rankings - all on the road. The Crusaders played at #24 Michigan State and at #12 Tulsa. The team will play at #19 Dayton on Monday. Currently, the Crusader men are 1-1-0 against Top 25 opponents.
On the Road Again: The Crusader men are once again back on the road. Having already spent weekends in Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Illinois, the Crusaders now head to Dayton, Ohio for a Saturday night league match and a Monday night meeting between another nationally ranked opponent. Valpo will only have four more home games this season, as the team is still scheduled to travel to Wisconsin and Kentucky.
Looking Ahead: A week from now, the Crusaders will travel to Green Bay to play their third Horizon League game of the season against the Phoenix. That game will be played Saturday, October 5th with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. Valpo will have the rest of the weekend off, but will travel to Loyola on Tuesday, October 8th to take on the Ramblers.
Champions in the Classroom: In 2012, Todd Vervynckt was selected to the Horizon All-Academic team, the CoSIDA Academic All-American Third team, and the All-District V first team. Vervynckt is in the Mechanical Engineering program at Valparaiso.