Valparaiso (1-3-1, 0-0-0 MVC)
Wednesday, Sept. 18, Noon CT – at Missouri State (4-0-0, 0-0-0 MVC)
Sunday, Sept. 22, 1 p.m. CT – vs. Evansville (2-2-1, 0-0-0 MVC)
This Week in Valpo Soccer: Missouri Valley Conference play is upon us as the Valparaiso University men’s soccer team will kick off league action on Wednesday afternoon in Springfield, Mo. against preseason MVC favorite Missouri State. Evansville will provide the opposition for the first Valley home fixture of 2019, a Sunday matinee at Brown Field. The conference is using a new double-round robin format, so Wednesday will kick off a 10-game slate that sees Valpo play each of the other five teams at home and on the road.
Previously: Valpo dropped a pair of road matches this past weekend, falling 6-0 to nationally-ranked SMU on Friday night in Dallas before incurring a 2-1 setback in double overtime on Sunday evening at Oral Roberts. Edvin Holst recorded eight saves and Ryan Madondo scored his first goal in a Valpo kit on Sunday. Neither team scored for the first 84 minutes, but then both sides scored in the final six of regulation to send the showdown to overtime. The Golden Eagles prevailed thanks to a golden goal at the 106-minute mark.
Following Valpo: Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3, while Sunday’s MVC home opener will be carried on ESPN+. Dave Huseman (play-by-play) and Ben Ariano (color commentary) will describe the action on Sunday. Links to live video and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Mike Avery: In his 13th season at the helm of the Valpo men’s soccer program, Mike Avery owns a program-record 88 career victories. Under Avery's guidance, the team has been a stellar defensive side, as nine of the top 10 defensive seasons in program history have come during his tenure. Avery has led the program to a new standard in his time as head coach, as a team that had enjoyed just one winning season in the 24 years prior to his arrival has finished above the .500 mark six times in the last decade. He has also seen numerous players go on to play professional soccer, including active pros Zev Taublieb, Kyle Zobeck, Stefan Antonijevic, Jordan Aidoud, Rafael Mentzingen, Nacho Miras, Ramone Howell, Matthew King, Jordan Simon, Hamid Babaali and Lucca Lacerda. Avery shattered the program record with his 77th career victory on Sept. 16, 2017 at Drake. He reached 77 victories in his 195th career match, while previous recordholder Mis’ Mrak needed 288 matches to accumulate 76 wins.
Good in Goal: Just three appearances into his collegiate career, freshman goalkeeper Edvin Holst has already enjoyed a pair of eight-save efforts. The last time a Valpo goalkeeper had more than eight saves in a match was Sept. 9, 2014, when Nico Campbell stopped nine shots on goal vs. Butler. Holst leads the Missouri Valley Conference with 18 saves in just three games while everyone else in the Top 5 in the league has played in five games and no one else has more than 13 saves.
Lucky Seven: When Ryan Madondo found the back of the net on Sept. 15 in Tulsa, he became the seventh Valpo player with a goal this season. The team featured 11 goal scorers last season, and Mason Marcey is the only player who has scored both last season and already this season. Just five games into 2019, Valpo has already had 17 different players score goals over the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Late Heroics: Ryan Madondo's game-tying goal at 88:23 on Sept. 15 at Oral Roberts was Valpo's latest goal since Alex Brown put the team up 1-0 at the 89:02 mark on Sept. 7 of last season at Milwaukee. The last time Valpo trailed as late as the 89th minute and got the game to overtime was Sept. 29, 2014, when Nick Suker scored at 89:37 to tie a match with Dayton at two, an eventual 2-2 draw at Brown Field.
Series Notes – Missouri State: Valpo heads into Wednesday hoping to secure its first ever victory over Missouri State as the team stands at 0-8-1 in a head-to-head series that started in 1989. The lone draw came 1-1 on Sept. 19, 2008 in Springfield. Valpo is 0-3 against the Bears since joining the Missouri Valley Conference prior to the 2017 campaign. This is the second straight season Valpo will open conference action in Springfield after the Bears won 1-0 behind an 18th-minute goal by Josh Dolling on Sept. 22 of last season.
Series Notes – Evansville: Valpo stands at 2-3-2 all-time against the Purple Aces in a series that started in 2002. The Brown & Gold earned a 1-1 draw on Oct. 27 of last season to clinch a spot in the league tournament. Valpo is 1-0-1 against the Purple Aces since joining The Valley after picking up a 2-1 win in the latest Brown Field meeting, which occurred on Oct. 7, 2017. Valpo is 2-0-1 all-time when hosting Evansville.
Scouting the Opponent – Missouri State: Valpo will be thrown right into the fire, opening Valley play against the team picked to win the conference this season. The Bears are off to an unbeaten start to the year with wins over Santa Clara, Kansas City, Central Arkansas and Tulsa. Josh Dolling, Kyle Hiebert and Ben Stroud all earned preseason all-conference honors. Dolling led the conference with 10 goals and 23 points in 2018 on his way to all-MVC First Team and United Soccer Coaches All-West Region second team recognition.
Scouting the Opponent – Evansville: The Purple Aces were picked to finish fifth in the Valley, one point ahead of Valpo in the preseason survey. They enter the week coming off a 1-0 victory over UNC Asheville on Saturday, Sept. 14 and host Loyola on Wednesday before the visit to Valpo. Evansville’s Preseason All-MVC Selection was senior Jesse Stafford-Lacey, who scored three goals last year on his way to second-team all-conference honors. Stafford-Lacey enters the week with three goals in his first four games this season. Evansville is under the direction of Marshall Ray, who is in his fifth season as head coach after joining the staff as the top assistant in 2006. He played at Evansville starting in 1995.
Scoring Streak: Valpo junior Mason Marcey started the season on a scoring streak as he registered goals in each of the team’s first three games. With his goal on Sept. 6 at UIC, Marcey became the first Valpo player to score in each of the first three games of a season since D.J. Catrow did so in 2005 against Buffalo, Canisius and Butler.
Strong Starts: Valpo had two players with three goals and seven points over the first three games of the season in Mason Marcey and Cole Rainwater. Before this year, Isaiah Madrid in 2016 was the only Valpo player since 2006 to reach three goals or seven points in the season's first three fixtures. This was the first time since at least 1987 that two Valpo players have had three goals or more just three matches into a season.
Goalkeeping Trio: Valpo used three players at the goalkeeper position over the first three games of the season with Edvin Holst, Jorn-Jan van de Beld and Danny Salazar all seeing action. Before this season, Valpo hadn’t utilized more than one goalkeeper over the first three matches of a year since 2012 and hadn't played three keepers in the first three games in over 20 years.
Making It Rain: Cole Rainwater had seven points in an 8-2 victory over IU Northwest on Sept. 2, becoming the first player in Mike Avery’s 13-year coaching tenure to turn in seven points in a match for Valpo. The last player to do so was Paul Leitelt on Aug. 27, 2006 vs. Evansville. Rainwater was the fifth player in program history with a seven-point performance and the 10th to turn a hat trick. Valpo’s last seven hat tricks have all been scored by players in their first or second year in the program. His hat trick was Valpo’s third in the last four years (Kendan Anderson and Adan Garcia) after the team had gone a decade between hat tricks prior to Anderson’s in 2016. For his efforts, Rainwater was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Sept. 3.
Strong Beginnings: Valpo debuted its new Brown Field turf by equaling a program record for goals in a game on Labor Day, downing IU Northwest 8-2 in the home opener. Valpo matched the team watermark of eight goals that was established on Aug. 26, 2011 against Calumet and had stood alone ever since. The Sept. 2 game against the RedHawks was the sixth time in program history Valpo prevailed by six goals or more and the first time the team had a margin of victory that large since the aforementioned 2011 game against Calumet.
Immediate Overtime: In a 1-1 draw at Green Bay on Aug. 30, Valpo went to overtime in the season opener for the fourth year in a row and the seventh time in the last eight years. It marked the fourth time in that span and the first since 2014 that the team started the season with a draw.
Dandy Debut: Freshman Edvin Holst helped Valpo to a 1-1 draw in the season opener on Friday, Aug. 30 at Green Bay by grabbing eight saves in his collegiate debut. He played all 110 minutes in goal and tied the most saves by any Valpo goalkeeper since Nico Campbell had nine on Sept. 9, 2014 vs. Butler. Holst’s save total was the highest by a Valpo goalkeeper in his first career start since Marc Cilfone had 10 at Bradley in 2001.
Reloading Time: A large senior class in 2018 has led to a team that features more newcomers (15) than returnees (13) in 2019. The team had 15 players depart from last year’s team, including dynamic strikers Rafael Mentzingen and Lucca Lacerda, who have both gone on to play professionally. Speaking of playing professionally, goalkeeper Nacho Miras made the decision to forgo his redshirt senior season when he had the opportunity to graduate on time and join the long list of Valpo alums who have reached the pro ranks.
A Reason to be Rosy: Although the roster saw significant turnover due to a large graduating class, the cupboard is far from bare for Mike Avery’s team. Headlining the group of returning players is fifth-year senior Demar Rose, a Preseason All-MVC choice this season and one of four Missouri Valley Conference players returning in 2019 after earning first-team all-conference honors in 2018. He didn’t skip a beat after missing the 2017 season with an injury, returning in 2018 to play in all 17 games and make 14 starts in the midfield while scoring one goal and striking 24 shots. He scored a dazzling equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Evansville on Oct. 27, 2018, earning a point in the Valley standings that allowed Valpo to clinch a conference tournament berth.
Senior Standout: Another veteran who has earned numerous honors over his Valpo career is senior midfielder Adan Garcia, who received 2018 MVC Honorable Mention, 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-Region Third Team and 2017 Second-Team All-MVC. He enters his senior year with 10 career goals, eight assists and 28 points, needing one more assist to crack Valpo’s all-time Top 10. He turned in a hat trick on Oct. 12, 2017 at Western Illinois, the ninth in program history and the first in a road match since 1985. Garcia’s name is already in the single-season Valpo record book after he had nine goals and 22 points in 2017, both tied for seventh in program history.
Academic Ace: Dylan Waugaman figures to continue his success both on the field and in the classroom this year. After graduating with a 3.99 grade point average in accounting, the 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-American Second Team honoree has begun a master’s in business administration. The fifth-year senior defender became the first Valpo player to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American honors since Todd Vervynckt in 2013. He also earned CoSIDA Academic All-Region and MVC Scholar-Athlete First-Team recognition as a redshirt junior. Waugaman received the 2018 Bill Steinbrecher Sportsmanship Award, which is given annually to the male student-athlete who best exemplifies integrity and sportsmanship while representing Valparaiso University. He has been nominated for the business school’s distinguished student award, nominated by a faculty member as an influential person on campus and met with University President Mark Heckler to discuss ideas about how to make Valpo a better place. Waugaman was one of three students in the 2018 graduating class who was recognized by President Heckler during the graduation ceremony as a distinguished student. In addition, Waugaman is an accounting tutor, member of NABA, member of Delta Sigma Pi (business honors society) and is involved in numerous community service activities.
The Region’s D1 Team: While the tradition of recruiting far and wide continues for Valpo men’s soccer, the team features a heavy local flavor this season. Five Northwest Indiana natives have joined the squad as freshmen – Danny Salazar (East Chicago, Ind. / Bishop Noll), Jack Eaton (Valparaiso, Ind. / Chesterton), Andy Lomeli (Dyer, Ind. / Lake Central), Cole Rainwater (Schererville, Ind. / Lake Central) and Logan Tatalovich (Valparaiso, Ind. / Boone Grove). Eaton was named the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year and Gatorade Indiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year following his senior season after helping Chesterton to a 21-0-2 mark and 3A state title.
Flying Many Flags: Despite bringing in a large crop of locals, the program has stayed true to its roots of recruiting globally. This year’s team features athletes from 10 countries – The Netherlands, Brazil, France, Jamaica, Japan, Germany, England, Italy, Sweden and the United States.
Working with TOCO: Valpo is once again raising funds for They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) this year. Throughout the 2019 season, the team is working to raise money and awareness for TOCO’s work through sport with at risk children in the Caribbean and United States. This year’s TOCO benefit game will take place on Sept. 25 against Drake at Brown Field.
#oneVALPO: The Valpo men’s soccer program will continue to promote its #oneVALPO campaign, which celebrates diversity, via social and digital media and at its games. For more information, go to the #oneVALPO Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oneVALPO.