The #22 Valparaiso men’s soccer team got back to their winning ways in Horizon League play as they defeated Cleveland State on Saturday night, 1-0.
Junior midfielder Jordan Aidoud (Lyon, France/CEFAM) provided the offense again as he scored his team-leading fourth goal in the 59th minute. Taking the pass from linemate Jacob Gandarilla (Albuquerque, N.M./ Shattuck-St. Mary's), Aidoud blasted one past the keeper from the left side to break the scoreless tie.
Sophomore goalkeeper Nico Campell (Kingston, Jamaica/St. George’s College) pitched his fifth shutout of the year with five saves as he improved his record to 7-3-3. The Crusader defense, as it has been all season, was lock-down as it allowed only six shots on the night.
“I'm very pleased with the guys tonight because I really challenged them after Wednesday night's game to come up with an appropriate response, and they stood up to that challenge,” Crusaders head coach Mike Avery said. “We weren't always perfect tonight, and Cleveland State is a good team that can ask a lot of questions of you, but our approach to the game was spot on.”
The Brown and Gold withstood the initial Vikings’ attack, surviving three corner kicks in less than a minute, while Campbell made two huge saves and another shot bounced off the cross bar. The Crusaders’ offense then turned the pressure up on the hosts, firing off nine shots, five of which came on goal.
“I'm fortunate to be able to coach a really talented group of players, and as long as they can keep their focus and continue to work for the good of the group, this team can make a strong run through the end of the season,” Avery said. We will take it one step at a time and one game at a time, starting next weekend with Milwaukee.”
With the win, Valpo (8-3-3, 3-2-0) heads into the home stretch of the season with three league games remaining. They return to the pitch next Saturday when they host Milwaukee at Brown Field. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm CT and live stats will be available through ValpoAthletics.com.
-Valpo Men’s Soccer-