Making just his second appearance since gaining eligibility from the NCAA, junior Alex Brown (MayPen, Jamaica / Glenmuir [Cincinnati State]) scored the match-winner on Tuesday night, lifting the Valparaiso University men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over IUPUI in nonconference action in Indianapolis.
How It Happened
- Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Nacho Miras (Ubeda, Spain / Nuestra Semora del Pilar) made a diving save going to his right on a 26th-minute penalty kick, and contained the rebound. He got his right hand on it to make the stop, then alertly scooped it up to prevent a follow-up try.
- In the 32nd minute, IUPUI keeper Tyler Shanahan went to his right to come up with the save as Valpo junior Rafael Mentzingen (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Bryan) tried to go near post.
- A powerful boot by sophomore Adan Garcia (Dallas, Texas / Episcopal School of Dallas) from way out marked Valpo’s best chance of the half. Shanahan notched a nifty save, getting his left hand on it for his most impressive play of the first half.
- Valpo (4-4-1) controlled the majority of the possession and opportunities prior to halftime, but Shanahan helped keep the match scoreless with a strong effort in goal. Valpo outshot IUPUI (0-8) before the break 11-4 and led shots on goal 6-1.
- In the 51st minute, Brown put the Crusaders ahead with a one-touch goal inside the right post on a cross from Chris Villalobos (Richardson, Texas / Episcopal School of Dallas). The shot came from seven yards out. The sequence begin with a corner kick from Garcia, and both Villalobos and Garcia received assists.
- Valpo maintained the majority of the possession for the remainder of the match, eventually securing the road victory.
Inside the Match
- Brown’s goal was his first of the season, as he became the ninth different Crusader to record a goal this year. Since the start of the 2016 season, 17 different Crusaders have scored goals.
- Brown played just seven minutes in his season debut on Saturday against Central Arkansas, and Tuesday marked his first career start.
- This marked Valpo’s first shutout of the season and the first clean sheet of Miras’ career.
- Garcia moved into sole possession of the team lead with his seventh point of the year. He also has a team-high three assists. Garcia, only a sophomore, has five assists in his Valpo career.
- Villalobos picked up his second assist of the year and the third of his career.
- The Crusaders outshot the Jaguars 23-5 and outdid the opposition in shots on goal 11-2.
- Miras picked up a pair of saves, boosting his season total to 35.
- The Crusaders are no stranger to getting it done away from home, as this marked their fourth road victory of the campaign.
- None of Valpo’s nine fixtures this year have featured a margin larger than one goal.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a good win tonight and I was very pleased with our players’ performance. It’s easy to look at records or stats and assume something about a team, but the reality is that winning in college soccer is hard and winning on the road is doubly hard. IUPUI is a young team that plays very hard and is very well coached, so their record isn’t a true reflection of their quality. They earned a PK against the run of play early in the game, and had that scored, it could have been a long night for us.”
“I thought our possession was very good, as was our ability to create chances on goal. The IUPUI goalkeeper made several tremendous saves and they played a deep block defensively, so even though we didn’t score more goals, that doesn’t bother me tonight. We are most excited about a shutout as that has been a focus for us.”
The Crusaders will return to Missouri Valley Conference action as they visit Missouri State on Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT. The match will air on The Valley on ESPN3 with links to live audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.