Valparaiso (2-9-1, 1-4-0 MVC)
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. CT – at Drake (7-6-0, 4-3-0 MVC) - Tiger Field (West Des Moines)
Sunday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m. CT – at Bradley (4-5-3, 3-3-1 MVC)
This Week in Valpo Soccer: After back-to-back one-game weeks, the Valparaiso University men’s soccer team will begin a busy stretch of four matches in a two-week span on Wednesday night in Des Moines. The second half of the Missouri Valley Conference double round robin gets underway with the game at Drake, before Valpo battles Bradley in Peoria on Sunday. Note that the game time for the Drake match was moved to 7 p.m. and moved to Tiger Field in West Des Moines.
Previously: The Brown & Gold incurred a 2-0 defeat at Milwaukee in Saturday evening’s nonconference finale. Evan Conway had a brace for the Panthers including a goal early in the second half off a corner-kick scramble that capped the scoring. Valpo placed six shots on goal and forced Milwaukee into a team save late in the match. Mason Marcey had a team-high six shots, while freshman goalkeeper Edvin Holst corralled five saves.
Outshooting the Opponent: Valpo outshot Milwaukee 15-13 in Saturday’s defeat, marking the first time the team has outshot the opponent in a defeat this season. The last time Valpo held the advantage in the shot count was Sept. 22 vs. Evansville. The last time Valpo lost a game when outshooting the opponent was Oct. 1 of last season, when the team outshot Oral Roberts 17-12 but lost the match 4-1.
Traveling Troop: Valpo will close out a stretch of five straight matches away from Brown Field this week. The team hasn’t played on its home pitch since Oct. 1 against Bradley, a stretch that will finally come to an end next Wednesday, Oct. 30 vs. Missouri State. Entering this week, Valpo has played eight away matches this season, and none of them have come against teams that entered the match with a losing record. That stretch will extend to nine on Wednesday at Drake and could reach 10 on Sunday if Bradley beats Loyola on Wednesday.
Holst Atop Valley: Valpo goalkeeper Edvin Holst is the Missouri Valley Conference leader in both total saves (50) and saves per game (5.56), also ranking among the national leaders in those areas. He has been active behind a youthful back line, making key contributions as a rookie. The last Valpo keeper to lead a league in saves was Ryan Schwarz in 2007. The standard for reaching the Top 10 in program history for single-season saves is 102, which currently occupies 10th (Marc Cilifone 2001).
Following Valpo: Wednesday’s match will be available on ESPN+ and Saturday’s on ESPN3. 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.
Series Notes – Drake: Entering this week’s match, Valpo is 2-5-1 in an all-time series with Drake that goes back to 1995. Last year, the two teams met in an MVC Tournament opener that saw Valpo’s 2018 season end on a golden goal by Steven Enna in the 105th minute to propel Drake to a 2-1 victory. The two teams had played twice in a row with Valpo winning 1-0 behind a Mason Marcey goal in the 30th minute of the regular season finale at Brown Field. The Bulldogs have ended Valpo’s season two years in a row, doing so with a 4-2 victory in 2018. The Brown & Gold rallied from 2-0 down for a 3-2 win on Sept. 16, 2017, the victory that made Mike Avery the winningest coach in program history. Valpo lost the first meeting this year 2-0 at Brown Field with Austin Smythe and Leroy Ensuguzi scoring the Drake goals.
Scouting the Opposition – Drake: The Bulldogs are coming off a 2-0 win over Evansville, beating the Purple Aces for the second time in a 10-day span. Leroy Ensugzi leads the team in goals (5), points (11) and shots (43). Goalkeeper Luke Anderson is third in the league with 31 saves and owns a goals against average of 1.38. Enzuguzi, senior goalkeeper Jared Brown and Cole Poppen made Drake one of two teams (Missouri State) with three players on the Preseason All-MVC team. The Bulldogs were picked to finish third behind Loyola and Missouri State. Drake is guided by head coach Gareth Smith, who took over the program in 2015.
Series Notes – Bradley: Valpo is 6-9 all-time against the Braves in a matchup that began in 1989. Valpo won 2-0 in Peoria last year with Lucca Lacerda enjoying a brace on his way to national Player of the Week honors. Entering this season, Valpo had won three of the last four fixtures against Bradley including a neutral-site win over a nationally-ranked Braves side in 2008. This will be the second time Valpo plays in Peoria this season as Valpo led 1-0 in the 66th minute on Sunday, Sept. 29, but play was halted due to lightning. Since it did not reach the requisite 70 minutes to be deemed official, the fixture was replayed from the beginning in Valpo two days later, a game Bradley won 2-1 in overtime despite a Valpo goal by Ryan Madondo. The golden goal came from TJ Rea in the 109th minute.
Scouting the Opposition – Bradley: The Braves have won three of their last five matches with the only defeats in that stretch coming against No. 14 Missouri State. Bradley has conference wins over Evansville, Valpo and Drake. The team’s most recent match was a 2-1 loss to the aforementioned Bears where a goal by Jha’Lon Johnson was not enough. The team’s top goal scorer is Gerit Wintermeyer with four goals and nine points. He has accounted for half of the team’s goals this season. Nathan Wisbey has played in 10 of the team’s 11 games at the goalkeeper spot and owns an 0.83 GAA to go along with 23 saves. He has a league-best five shutouts.
Academic Success Sustained: The Valpo men’s soccer program earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 17th consecutive season, as announced on Thursday, Oct. 3. Valpo has the third-longest streak in the nation behind only Carleton College (2000-present) and Penn (2001-present). The award is given annually to squads with a composite grade point average of 3.00 or better for the academic year. This year’s award is based on GPAs for the 2018-19 school year, when Valpo checked in at 3.09.
More Road Facts: 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 conclusion 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.
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.