The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team closed out exhibition play Monday evening at #9 Notre Dame, battling the Fighting Irish to a 1-1 draw. The Crusaders teamed up with the Irish for Notre Dame’s annual Grassroot Soccer benefit match, with donations accepted at the gate and throughout the evening in lieu of admission.
- The Irish jumped out to a quick lead Monday, as Jon Gallagher found the back of the net in the seventh minute to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead.
- Valpo equalized in the 55th minute, taking advantage of a foul in the box. Senior Isaiah Madrid (Albuquerque, N.M./Eldorado [FGCU]) stepped up and buried the penalty to tie the game at 1-1.
- Crusader goalkeeper Nico Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica/St. George’s College) had to make just one save, a stop in the 57th minute, to preserve the draw.
This and That
- 20 members of the Crusader roster saw action on Monday evening, with only two field players playing the entire 90 minutes, as head coach Mike Avery used the final exhibition game to get a number of players game action heading into Saturday’s regular season opener.
- This marks the second straight season that Valpo has earned a result against a top-25 team in exhibition play, as last year’s side beat #14 Indiana 2-1 in the preseason. That was a harbinger of things to come for last year’s team, which went 2-1-1 in the regular season versus top-25 foes.
- Grassroot Soccer is an international non-governmental organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities against the spread of HIV. The organization was founded by Tommy Clark, son of Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark, and both Notre Dame and Valparaiso have teamed up with the organization over the years.
The Crusaders open the regular season this Saturday, Aug. 27 as they make the short trip to Chicago to face former Horizon League foe Loyola. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., and live stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.