Valparaiso men’s soccer head coach Mike Avery announced today the Crusaders’ schedule for the upcoming 2014 season, which includes 10 matches on the home turf of Brown Field.
The Crusaders will start action with a pair of exhibition matches against teams which were NCAA Tournament participants at their respective levels last season, as Valpo hosts Lake Forest (NCAA D-III Tournament) on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 11 a.m. and Lewis (NCAA D-II Sweet 16) on Monday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. Valpo then kicks off the regular season with a weekend in North Carolina, facing ACC foe North Carolina State (Aug. 29) and Davidson (Aug. 31).
The Crusaders’ season-opening road trip continues Tuesday, Sept. 9 at Butler, and two days later, Valpo returns to East Lansing, Mich., where the Crusaders defeated Michigan State last season in a year which saw the Spartans eventually go all the way to the Elite Eight. A second straight Big Ten foe and 2013 NCAA Tournament participant wraps up the opening road stretch, as Valpo plays at Northwestern on Wednesday, Sept. 17.
Valpo returns home for a pair of matches prior to the start of Horizon League play, facing Western Illinois on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m., followed by Loyola four days later at 7:30 p.m. The Crusaders also have a few non-league fixtures interspersed throughout the league schedule, hosting a Dayton side which won 14 games last season (Sept. 29) and IPFW (Oct. 29) while playing at IUPUI (Oct. 7) as well.
The league slate opens for the Crusaders on the road this year, as Valpo will be the first Horizon League team to take on new affiliate member Belmont on Sept. 26 in Nashville. The Crusaders also will face UIC (Oct. 1), Cleveland State (Oct. 18) and Green Bay (Nov. 1) on the road, while welcoming Wright State (Oct. 10), Detroit (Oct. 15), Milwaukee (Oct. 25) and Oakland (Nov. 7) to Brown Field. The 2014 Horizon League Championship will be held Nov. 10-15, with the league tournament champion earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.