Down two goals with 16 minutes to play in regulation, the Valparaiso University men’s soccer team scored twice late to force extra time in its regular season opener Saturday evening at Loyola. But the Ramblers struck again just 18 seconds from the end of the first overtime period as the Crusaders dropped their opener, 3-2.
How It Happened
- The two sides played through a scoreless first half which featured just one shot on goal each way, before Loyola claimed a two-goal lead midway through the second half. Alec Lasinski found the back of the net in the 52nd minute, and Ryan Walker made it a 2-0 game in the 65th
- Valpo pulled one goal back in the 75th minute, as the Ramblers committed a foul in the penalty area. Senior Isaiah Madrid (Albuquerque, N.M./Eldorado [FGCU]) was tasked with converting the spot kick, and do so successfully, finding the lower left corner to cut the deficit in half.
- Following a save with less than five minutes to play in regulation by senior Nico Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica/St. George’s College), the Crusaders countered and found the equalizer in the 87th Madrid got into the attacking third and laid the ball off to junior Ramone Howell (Portmore, Jamaica/Jamaica College), who sent a blast inside the far post to force extra time.
- The Crusaders had the best of play early in the first period of extra time, forcing Loyola goalkeeper Andrew Chekadanov into a save in the 93rd minute and putting together a couple other chances in the opening few minutes. But Loyola would score the golden goal with 99:42 on the scoreboard, with Marius Kullmann scoring the match-winner.
Inside the Game
- Howell’s goal was the fourth of his Crusader career, while Madrid found the back of the net for the sixth time at Valpo. The three-point game for Madrid was his third career game in the Valpo uniform with at least three points.
- Madrid converted on the penalty kick – his first effort during the regular season on a PK for the Crusaders. He also successfully converted on an attempt from the spot earlier this year in exhibition play at Notre Dame.
- Madrid was one of three Crusaders in the field to go the distance on Saturday night, joined by senior Omar Lawrence (Kingston, Jamaica/Excelsior) and senior Matthew Gweh (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview [High Point]).
- Campbell made four saves in goal for the Crusaders, while Chekadanov stopped three shots for Loyola.
Thoughts From Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a really good college soccer game tonight, featuring two good teams that tried to play, and the kind of game you might find in the NCAA Tournament. Loyola is very good, maybe the best Loyola team I've seen in ten years, and I'm certain they will have a lot to say about who wins the MVC this season.”
“For us, it was a great learning experience and a game we can use to grow early in the season. It took us a while to get going, but once we did, I thought we played quite well for long stretches of the game. Coming back from two goals down, on the road, is a real testament to the character of our group. We had two great chances to win in overtime, so it stings a bit now, but we will get back to work tomorrow and get ready for another great test down at SIUE.”
The Crusaders (0-1-0) close out their opening weekend of play on the road Monday night as they travel to take on SIU Edwardsville. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start, with live video and live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.