Valparaiso (2-6-1, 1-3-0 MVC)
at SIU Edwardsville (5-3-1, 0-0-0 MAC)
Saturday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m. CT – Korte Stadium – Edwardsville, Ill.
This Week in Valpo Soccer: With four Missouri Valley Conference contests in the books, the Valparaiso University men’s soccer team will step outside of league action to clash with SIU Edwardsville on Saturday evening in Edwardsville, Ill. This marks Valpo’s first nonleague fixture since Sept. 15 and starts a stretch of five straight away matches.
Previously: Valpo was victimized by Mother Nature this week as the team held a 1-0 lead in the 66th minute on Sunday afternoon at Bradley when severe storms hit the area, causing a delay that eventually led to the postponement of play. Had the teams reached the 70-minute mark, the match would have gone down as official. However, the two sides rescheduled the game for Tuesday night in Valpo and had to start over, a game Valpo lost 2-1. Ryan Madondo scored a penalty-kick goal in the 19th minute, but Bradley tied it in the 65th minute and won it with a golden goal in the 109th minute.
Following Valpo: Saturday’s match will air on ESPN+, which is available on a subscription basis for $4.99 per month. Links to live video and stats can be found 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 89 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.
Working with TOCO: Valpo welcomed a large crowd to Brown Field on Sept. 25 against Drake, raising funds for They Often Cry Outreach, an organization that supports at-risk children in the Caribbean and the United States. Head coach Mike Avery offered to personally match all donations made that evening. The program has a long-standing relationship with TOCO.
Series History: The two teams will face off for the fourth consecutive year with Valpo set to make its third trip to Edwardsville. All of the previous meetings have been close contests with Valpo holding an 0-2-1 record against the Cougars. The two teams played to a scoreless draw in 2016 before SIU Edwardsville won 1-0 in overtime in 2017 and 3-2 in 2018. Last year’s meeting saw Valpo equalize twice at 1-1 and 2-2 before the Cougars scored the match-winner in the 86th minute. Jonas Engler and Rafael Mentzingen both had goals in the game at Brown Field.
Scouting the Opposition: The Cougars, who are affiliate members of the Mid-American Conference in men’s soccer, went 9-5-4 overall last year. The team’s 2019 resume includes a shutout of Big Ten foe Michigan State in a scoreless draw on Aug. 30 in East Lansing plus wins over Evansville, Butler, Kansas City, Western Illinois and 2018 MVC champion Central Arkansas. The Cougars are led by Jorge Gonzalez, who has six goals on the season, while Jorgen Pettersen has two goals and three assists for a seven-point output. Noah Heim has played six of the team’s seven games in goal and owns a 1.92 GAA. The Cougars are coached by Cale Wassermann, who is in his first season after spending the last four as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Michigan State.
On the Road Again: Leading into the start of Valley play, Valpo faced fierce competition during a four-game road journey. SMU was ranked as high as 16th at the time of the meeting and afterward vaulted into the Top 10 in most national polls. Missouri State is also a Top 25 side. The combined records of SMU, Missouri State, UIC and Oral Roberts at the time of the meetings with Valpo was 21-2-0. This week marks the start of another challenging road trip as this time the team plays five straight away from the confines of Brown Field. This will mark Valpo’s longest string of road games since opening the 2017 season with six straight away from home.
PK Conversion: Ryan Madondo converted a penalty kick on Oct. 1 vs. Bradley to help Valpo get on the board first in the Missouri Valley Conference contest. He helped Valpo improve to 2-for-2 on PKs this season after Cole Rainwater knocked one in on Sept. 2 vs. IU Northwest. As a team, Valpo has converted four PKs in a row dating back to Sept. 15, 2018.
Multi-Goal Scorers: Madondo’s goal in the Oct. 1 game against Bradley allowed him to join the group of Valpo players with multiple goals this season. He’s one of four along with Cole Rainwater (3), Mason Marcey (3) and Michael Cushing (2). The last time Valpo had more than four multi-goal scorers in a season was 2016, when the team boasted six players with more than two goals.
Working Overtime: Two of Valpo’s losses have come in extra time this season as the team holds a 0-2-1 mark in games that go behind the regulation 90 minutes. Valpo has permitted golden goals in the second OT session against Oral Roberts (Sept. 15) and Bradley (Oct. 1).
Comeback Kids: Valpo faced a 1-0 deficit as late as the 77th minute on Sept. 22 against Evansville, but a pair of quick strikes from Dylan Waugaman and Adan Garcia helped Valpo to a 2-1 victory over the Purple Aces. Valpo won after allowing the first goal of the match for the first time since last October, when the team came from 1-0 down to beat Eastern Illinois with two second-half tallies. The win over the Aces was the first time in Mike Avery's 13-year head coaching tenure that his side was trailing as late as the 77th minute and found a way to win in regulation.
Garcia Goal Count: By finding the net for the first time this season on Sept. 22 against Evansville, senior Adan Garcia lifted his career goal total to 11, the most among active Valpo players. He also has eight career assists for a total of 30 points during his four-year tenure. His next assist will allow him to crack the program's career Top 10 in that category.
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.
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.
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.
#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.