The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team captured an important victory on Saturday night at Brown Field, downing Northern Kentucky 5-0 in the penultimate league match of the regular season. In the process, the Crusaders picked up three points in a tightly-packed Horizon League table.
How It Happened
- Isaiah Madrid (Albuquerque, N.M. / Eldorado [Florida Gulf Coast]) scored the game’s first goal on a strike from 30 yards inside the right post in the 14th minute. Demar Rose (Kingston, Jamaica / Wolmer’s Boys School) provided the assist.
- The Crusaders doubled the lead less than two minutes later when Kendan Anderson (Portmore, Jamaica / St. George’s College [South Florida / ASA College]) received a cross from Suleiman Thomas (Chicago, Ill. / Lake Forest Academy) and scored unmarked from the center of the box.
- Madrid received a penalty kick opportunity in the 33rd minute and hit the post. However, he atoned for the miss in the 41st minute with another PK try, this time converting for his second goal of the match.
- Anderson joined Madrid as a two-goal scorer in the match in the 55th minute, breaking it wide open with the team’s fourth goal. Anderson put it into an open net from the top of the box. Matthew Gweh (Apple Valley, Minn.) and goalkeeper Nico Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica / St. George’s College) both received assists, as Campbell set up the goal with a long punt.
- Omar Lawrence (Kingston, Jamaica / Excelsior) rounded out the scoring in the 71st minute. Madrid took a free kick from 30 yards out, and Lawrence knocked it in from eight yards away.
- The Crusaders outshot the Norse 23-4 and owned a 10-0 edge in shots on goal.
Inside the Match
- Valpo’s five-goal output matches its most in conference play in program history. It was the first time the Crusaders scored five times in a conference match since 2014 and just the second time since 1998.
- The Crusaders have pulled within one win of tying the program record for victories in a single season. The current program high is 10, set in 2009.
- Madrid now has a team-high nine goals, moving him into a tie for sixth place in single-season program history. Madrid becomes the first Valpo player to score nine or more goals in a season since Ben Olson in 2002.
- With his five-point evening, Madrid is up to 23 for the year. He is now tied for fifth on the single-season points list. No Valpo player has racked up 23 points or more in a single season since Scott Daly in 2001.
- Campbell turned in his fifth clean sheet of the year and the 20th of his Valpo career. He is just three shutouts away from the program record.
- The 23 total shots and 10 on goal both represented season highs for the Crusaders.
- The last time Valpo won a match by five goals was Aug. 27, 2012, a 6-1 win over Saint Joseph’s.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
"It was a great result for us tonight, important in moving us toward the post season, and, overall, I thought we played pretty well in the process. If you’re going to challenge for any honors at the end of a season, you have to be one of the teams that is in form. I thought this was a good night to help us stay sharp, continue to grow, improve the experience of our bench and allow us another few days to get some of our key players back to 100 percent.
The real challenge now for the guys is to get right back to work and prepare for IUPUI on Monday afternoon. Whenever we face IUPUI, you can throw the respective records out of the window because it is a local rivalry where many of the players have known each other for a long time. Even though it is a nonconference game, we have a lot at stake - including the chance to tie the program record for most wins in a season. I want very much for this group to take a shot at breaking that milestone because I certainly believe these guys have played well enough to be talked about in the same breath with some of the best teams Valpo has produced.”
The Crusaders (9-4-3, 4-2-2 Horizon League) host IUPUI (1-14-1) on Monday at 3 p.m. in the final nonleague match of the year. Please note that the match will start earlier than the originally-scheduled start time. The game can be heard on WVUR, 95.1 FM Valparaiso, with links to live audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.