The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 setback at UIC on Saturday night. UIC’s Jose Fuentes scored in the 62nd minute to account for the difference in a fast-paced match at Flames Field.
How It Happened
- Fuentes shot to the low far side of the goal after a pass from the right side by Oscar Rivero, who notched the assist.
- The Crusaders placed five shots on goal, four of those coming before halftime.
- The Flames outshot the Crusaders 22-17. UIC accumulated four shots on goal.
- Nico Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica / St. George’s College) corralled three saves in the defeat.
- UIC goalkeeper Andrew Putna held off the Crusaders to preserve the clean sheet. The shutout was his fifth of the year and his conference GAA shrinks to 0.48.
Inside the Match
- The goal was Fuentes’ fifth of the season. He ranks second on the team behind Max Todd, who has six. Rivero now has two assists and six points this year.
- All nine meetings between the two teams since Valpo joined the Horizon League have been decided by one goal or tied.
- This marked just the third time the Crusaders have been shutout this season. The first time Valpo was held scoreless was a draw with SIU Edwardsville on Aug. 29. The other two have come in the last three matches.
- The Crusaders racked up 17 shots, their most in a league match since the Horizon Leauge opener against Detroit on Sept. 10. Conversely, they allowed 22 shots, the most by a Horizon League squad against Valpo this year. The Flames have totaled 20-plus shots on four occasions this season.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a very exciting game, fast paced and with two teams really fighting and scrapping for a result. Hats off to UIC for defending their home field. They took their chance very well on the goal, and though we pushed right to the end, we weren't able to find the equalizer. I was proud of our effort and our will to compete.
Including our two exhibition games in August, we've now played twelve out of seventeen matches on the road. That takes its toll. This is the first week in a month where we don't have a midweek game, and the guys need these few days to rest and recover.
We also end with three home games and it will be nice to develop a little consistency and rhythm to our training and preparation.
The game next weekend is massive for us. A win next weekend goes a long way to wrapping up a playoff spot, so I am sure the group will be focused this week and won't take anything for granted because we know every Horizon League game is a battle.”
The Crusaders (8-4-3, 3-2-2) enjoy a few days away from game action before returning to the pitch on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. against Northern Kentucky. After four straight road fixtures, the Crusaders will return to the Brown Field turf for the Horizon League showdown with the Norse. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.