Crusaders Host IPFW, Travel to Green Bay in Penultimate Week of Regular Season
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Valparaiso (8-3-4) (3-2-1 HL)
Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 7:30 pm – Valparaiso, Ind. – vs.IPFW
Saturday, November 1, 2014, 6:00 pm – Green Bay, Wis. – at Green Bay
This Week in Crusader Soccer: The Valparaiso men’s soccer team takes a late-season break from Horizon League action as they take on in-state rival IPFW at Brown Field on Wednesday night before traveling north to the hopefully not-so-frozen tundra of Green Bay in their penultimate Horizon League and regular season game.
Previously on the Pitch:Valpo battled to a 1-1 double-overtime draw against Milwaukee last Saturday at Brown Field. Ramone Howell picked up his second career goal and Nico Campbell made seven saves in goal for the Crusaders.
Following the Crusaders:Both matcheswill 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. Saturday’s match against Green Bay will be streamed live on the Horizon League Network via HorzionLeague.com.
Head Coach Mike Avery: Mike Avery is in his eighth season at Valpo, with 57 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: IPFW – The Crusaders are 14-3 against the Mastodons all-time and first played in 1984. The last time they met was in 2012, with Valpo winning 3-1 in Fort Wayne. Jordan Aidoud came off the bench for two goals, including the game-winner.
Green Bay – This marks the 17th time the Crusaders and Phoenix have lined up against each other. Last year in Green Bay, they fought to a scoreless double-overtime draw. Tom Serratore made five saves in 110 minutes.
Scouting the Opposition: IPFW – The Mastodons come to Brown Field with 4-6-4 record and stand at 2-2 in the Summit League. They dropped their last game to Denver, 2-0. Corey Tom and Austin West each lead the team with four goals apiece. Raphael Kotzock and Cody Schweitzer have split the goaltending duties this season. Kotzock comes in with a 2-2-3 record and .86 goals against average in eight games while recording three shutouts. Schweitzer is 2-4-1 with a goals against average of 1.93 while recording one shutout.
Green Bay – The Phoenix are 4-9-3 overall and sit in ninth in the Horizon League at 0-5-1. They dropped their last match to Belmont on the road, 2-1. Audi Jepson leads the team and the Horizon League with nine goals and is tied for first in the league with 21 points. Dani Alvarado has made 13 appearances in goal and comes in with a 2-7-3 record. He spots a 1.44 goals against average and three shutouts.
Scouting Ahead:The 2014 Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championships begins on Monday, Nov. 10. As it stands right now, Valpo enters as the fourth seed and would host fifth seed Cleveland State. If they would win, they would advance to the semi-finals and face either Oakland or Detroit, depending on the outcome of the other quarterfinal game, on Thursday, Nov. 13 at Oakland.
Top of the League: The Crusaders find themselves at the top of several Horizon League categories, including goals allowed (12) and goals against average (.74). They are also third in goals with 20.
Crusaders Ranked 37th in RPI: The Crusaders find themselves at #37in this week’s RPI rankings. Valpo’s non-league RPI comes in at 13th. The Brown and Gold are 3-3-3 against the top 100, while going 5-1-3 in non-league action. Valpo has faced four top 50 teams: Michigan State (15), Northwestern (20), Davidson (26) and Dayton (41).Valpo is the only Horizon League team represented in the top 40.
Crusaders Ranked Ninth in Regional Poll: Valpofell two spots to number nine in this week’s NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men's Great Lakes Region Poll. They are joined in the poll by league rival Detroit, who sits at number eight.
Senior Spotlight: Throughout the season, the team will honor a senior player at selected home games.Last week they recognized they recognized senior midfielder Nick Suker and defenseman Jacob Unger. They will celebrate the last two seniors, captain Zev Taublieb and defenseman Zane Wold, in their final regular season game against Oakland on Friday, Nov. 7.
Future Looks Bright: Freshman midfielders Ramone Howell and Stian Sandbekkhaug were each named to Top Drawer Soccer’s National Top 100 freshman players. Howell cracked the top-50 at 42 and Sandbekkhaug checks in at 87. Valpo is the only Horizon League member with more than one representative.
National Recognition: A number of Crusader players have made appearances on weekly national teams. Goalkeeper Nico Campbell and midfielder Zev Taublieb were each named to College Soccer News National Team of the Week on Sept. 15 and 29, respectively. Midfielder Jordan Aidoud was named to Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week on Oct. 13 after scoring three goals in two games.
League Awards Piling Up: The Brown and Gold have had several players win the Horizon League Player of the Week awards. Nico Campbell and defenseman Omar Lawrence have each won the Defensive side, while Zev Taublieb and Jordan Aidoud have garnered the Offensive award.
Protecting the Net: Through 15games this season, the Brown and Gold have only allowed 12 goals while playingstifling defense. They are 24thin the nation in team goals against average with a .74 and are tied for 32ndin save percentage with a .813.
Comeback Kids: The Crusaders’ come-from-behind win against Wright State was the first two-goal comeback in the Mike Avery era and their first comeback win since Sept. 27, 2006 when they beat Evansville 5-4.
Five is the Magic Number: Five second half goals powered Valpo past Wright State last Friday, the most goals scored since a 5-2 win against Western Illinois on Sept. 22, 2013. It was also the most goals scored in a half since the Crusaders scored five in an 8-0 win on Aug. 26, 2011 against Calumet and the most in any Horizon League game. It was also the most in any conference match since Nov. 1, 1998 when they beat Western Illinois 5-4 in a Mid-Continental Conference game.
Non-Conference Schedule Paying Off: The Crusaders faced a challenging non-league schedule this year, and are now seeing the fruits of their labor throughleague play. They took to the road against several big time opponents, including then #7 Michigan State, North Carolina State, Dayton and Davidson. The Wildcats’only blemishes on their record are a 2-0 loss to Dayton and George Mason, and they upset #2 Virginia on Sept. 24. They are also receiving votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s National Poll. The Spartans’ only losses have been to the Crusaders, Ohio State and Oakland. They are currently ranked 16th in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s National Poll.
Sparks Off the Bench: Freshman forwards Jordan James and Stian Sandbekkhaug have made the most of his opportunities coming off the bench.They are both tied for second on the team in goals with three. Two of James’ goals have been match-winners, against Butler and in the home opener against Western Illinois.
Receiving Votes: The Crusaders 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.
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. For more information, go to the #oneValpo Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oneVALPO.
-Valpo Men’s Soccer-