Monday, September 29, 6:00 p.m. – Valparaiso, Ind. – vs. Dayton University
Wednesday, October 1, 7:00 p.m. – Chicago, Ill. – at UIC
This Week in Crusader Soccer: The Valparaiso men’s soccer team returns home to Brown Field and welcomes Dayton on Monday night before returning to league action with a Wednesday night showcase at UIC.
Previously: The Crusaders picked up two wins last week. On Tuesday night against Loyola, Zev Taublieb sent home the game-winner in overtime as Valpo won 1-0. In their Horizon League opener at Belmont on Friday night, the Crusaders spoiled the Bruins league opener with a 2-1 victory. Taublieb and Jacob Gandarilla both scored.
Following the Crusaders: Both matches will have live stats available through ValpoAthletics.com. Over the course of the 2014 season, four matches will have free live video on the Horizon League Network, and WVUR, Valpo’s student radio station, will also be broadcasting select matches. Monday’s match will be streamed live at HorizonLeague.com through the Horizon League Network.
Head Coach Mike Avery: Mike Avery is in his eighth season at Valpo, with 54 wins to his credit. The 2011 Horizon Coach of the Year led the Brown and Gold to their first-ever conference title in the same season and has posted seven of the top-10 defensive seasons in program history over his first seven seasons. The third coach in Valpo’s history, he owns the best winning percentage and second-most wins in program history. He has coached four Goalkeeper of the Year honorees during that stretch, and has also seen one goalkeeper (Kyle Zobeck) and one defender (Stefan Antonijevic) selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft and go on to play professional soccer.
Series Notes: Dayton – This will be the second time the Crusaders have matched up with the Flyers. The Brown and Gold lost last year to #19 Dayton, 2-0. Nico Campbell made four saves last year in his third career start.
UIC – This will be the 24th time the Flames and Crusaders have met on the pitch. Valpo was on the short side in their league match last year, losing 2-1. Kevin Klett scored the lone goal while Adrian Graham notched the assist.
Scouting the Opposition: Dayton – The Flyers are 4-3-1 on the year and beat Ohio State, 1-0, on Saturday. Brian Richards leads Dayton with three goals, while Amass Amankona and Rafael Gamboa top the team with three assists apiece. Chris Froschauer has started all eight games and posted five shutouts with a .61 GAA.
UIC – The Flames are 4-2-2 overall and 0-0-1 in the Horizon League. They played Oakland to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Friday night. Jorge Alvarez leads UIC with three goals and Jesus Torres has two goals and two assists. Andrew Punta has posted three shutouts en route to a .91 GAA through eight games.
Crusaders Reach New Heights in RPI: Valpo was ranked number nine in this week’s RPI rankings. The ranking is the highest ever for the Crusaders. Valpo is 2-0-1 against top-25 RPI teams and 4-1-1 against the top 100.
Déjà Vu for Taublieb: Senior midfielder and captain Zeb Taublieb showed off his offensive prowess this past week, scoring the game-winning goal against Loyola in overtime while giving the Crusaders the lead in the 14th minute against Belmont. Both goals were nearly identical as well, as Taublieb pounced on rebounds off of opposing goalkeepers to send the ball home.
Spark Off the Bench: Freshman midfielder/forward Jordan James has made the most of his opportunities coming off the bench, leading the Brown and Gold with three goals in seven games. Two of those have been match-winners, against Butler and in the home opener against Western Illinois. He leads the team with six points and five shots on goal.
Crusaders Ranked Fifth in Regional Poll: The Crusaders were dropped one spot to number five in last week’s NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men's Great Lakes Region Poll. This comes one week after being ranked fourth, the highest ranking for the Crusaders.
Valpo Receiving Votes: The Brown and Gold received six votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s National Poll for the week of September 16, the first time the team has received votes.
Protecting the Net: Through seven games this season, the Brown and Gold have only allowed three goals while playing their trademark suffocating defense. They are seventh in the nation with a .897 save percentage and are sixth in team goals against average with a .38.
Non-Conference Schedule Paying Off: The Crusaders faced a challenging non-league schedule this year, and are now seeing the fruits of their labor as they enter conference play. They took to the road against several big time opponents, including then #7 Michigan State, North Carolina State and Davidson. The Wildcats haven’t dropped a match yet and just upset #2 Virginia last Wednesday. The Spartans only loss was to the Crusaders and are currently ranked 16th in the nation.
Senior Spotlight: Throughout the season, the team will honor a senior player at each home game. Last week they recognized they recognized senior defensemen Mitch Albrecht and Eric Nieto. This week they will honor defenseman Jack McIver.
Campbell Garners National Honor: Sophomore goalkeeper Nico Campbell was named to College Soccer News National Team of the Week on September 15 after his stellar performances last week, allowing one goal to Butler and shutting out #7 Michigan State, both on the road.
Lawrence Wins League Honor: Sophomore defenseman Omar Lawrence was named the Horizon League Co-Defensive Player of the Week for the week of September 15 following his game-winning goal at #7 Michigan State and helping the Crusader defense shutout the Spartans and hold Butler to one goal.
Flying Many Flags: This year’s Valparaiso men’s soccer team represents many different countries. Beyond the borders of the United States, the Crusaders boast players hailing from six other nations for a total of 12 international players born outside the United States. Leading the way is the contingent from Jamaica, as Valpo counts six Jamaicans on its roster for the 2014 campaign.
#oneVALPO: Throughout this season, the Crusader men’s soccer program will be promoting its #oneVALPO campaign, a campaign to celebrate diversity, via social and digital media and at its games. The first four videos are available at http://youtu.be/Mpv9DL1mLlg, http://youtu.be/9E5NO1YchEg, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG5coYUdKQw&list=PLTxRmOti-0BMlxucHOzE4siq5uNWRDa8D and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj2qonQaHQ4.
-Valpo Men’s Soccer-