On Monday, the Horizon League announced its All-League selections with four Crusaders earning honors. Jesse Ortiz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora) earned a spot on the All-League Second Team, while freshmen Kevin Klett (Muncie, Ind./Burris), Adrian Graham (Kingston, Jamaica/St. George’s College), and Omar Lawrence (Kingston, Jamaica/Excelsior) were each selected to the All-Freshman Team.
In his second year with the Crusaders, Ortiz earned his first all-league selection. Ortiz proved to be a vital cog in the midfield for Valpo - the senior captain controlled the tempo of the game, kept the midfield organized, and led the team through moments of adversity. He is second on the team in minutes played with 1,413 and has started every match that he has appeared in. Ortiz provided the assist on the game-tying goal against IUPUI and hit the game-winner against Detroit. His lone goal of season came at a pivotal moment, as it secured a berth in the Horizon League Championship for the Crusaders.
Klett, Graham, and Lawrence each add this All-Freshman Team selection to their already impressive freshman resumes. Klett’s first appearance for the Crusaders came in a conference game against Green Bay. From that point on Klett became a first team regular, appearing in eight games for the Crusaders while making two starts along the way. He scored his first career goal against UIC.
Graham and Lawrence each made an immediate impact on the field, cracking the starting eleven in the first match of the season. Graham proved to be a force in breaking up possession and getting stuck in on tackles. The center back appeared in 13 matches, making 12 starts. Graham’s first career goal came off of a header at Western Illinois. He also provided the assist on Klett’s goal against UIC. Similarly, Lawrence provided a much needed bite to the Crusader midfield. The defensive midfielder appeared in 11 matches, earning 10 starts. Lawrence took eight shots on the season, three of which were on frame.