Valparaiso (4-12-1, 3-7-0 MVC)
at Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
Loyola Soccer Complex | Chicago, Ill.
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m. CT – vs. Drake (7-8-1, 4-5-1 MVC)
Friday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m. CT – vs. No. 10 Missouri State (16-0-0, 10-0-0 MVC)
Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. CT – MVC Championship
This Week in Valpo Soccer: From the time the season kicked off, Valparaiso University men’s soccer coach Mike Avery has emphasized the importance of building toward a winning week in November. With all six Missouri Valley Conference teams qualifying for the league tournament this year, the team’s focus has been on making strides throughout the year to be playing its best soccer come tournament time. The weeks of preparation are in the books, and the test comes this week in Rogers Park, starting with a first-round tournament date with Drake on Wednesday afternoon at the Loyola Soccer Complex.
Previously: Valpo honored six seniors prior to Saturday’s regular-season finale at Brown Field, a 3-0 defeat to Loyola. The Ramblers found the back of the net twice in the final five minutes of the first half, a stretch that played a key role in the game’s outcome. Jorn-Jan van de Beld got the start at the goalkeeper spot and collected seven saves. Loyola held a narrow 10-7 edge in the shot count.
Following Valpo: All MVC Tournament matches will air on ESPN+ with links to live video and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com. Wednesday’s match will feature the on-air team of Sean Wheelock (play-by-play) and Ty Keough (analyst), while Kyle Peach (play-by-play) will join Keough on Friday and Sunday.
Head Coach Mike Avery: In his 13th season at the helm of the Valpo men’s soccer program, Mike Avery owns a program-record 91 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.
Third Time’s A Charm?: Since Valpo joined the Missouri Valley Conference, tournament time has meant one thing: a first-round matchup with the Drake Bulldogs. The two teams will square off in the first round of the event for the third consecutive season on Wednesday, with the Brown & Gold hoping that this year will provide a more favorable result than either of the first two seasons. Valpo’s maiden voyage in The Valley in 2017 ended with a 4-2 defeat to the Bulldogs in a game played at Bradley, while last year saw Drake prevail in a first-round meeting as Steven Enna’s golden goal in the 105th minute lifted the team to a 2-1 victory. The last two years are the first time in the history of Valpo’s program that the season has ended with a conference-tournament defeat to the same team in consecutive seasons.
Back in Rogers Park: Valpo has played a conference tournament game at Loyola before, taking on the Ramblers in a campus-site first-round Horizon League Championship matchup back in 2008. The hosts prevailed 4-1. In total, the program has played 15 matches at Loyola, seven of which have come since Mike Avery took over the program in 2007. The Loyola Soccer Complex was the site of Valpo’s first ever Missouri Valley Conference match, a 2-1 victory on Sept. 1, 2017 against a nationally-ranked Ramblers side that was the defending conference champion. That snapped a 24-match home unbeaten streak for Loyola.
Series Notes – Drake: The two teams that will match up in the opening round split the regular-season meetings, with each side invading the other’s home pitch and coming away with a two-goal victory. Valpo was on the wrong end of a 2-0 score on Sept. 25 at Brown Field, before leveling the season set with a 3-1 win on Oct. 23 in West Des Moines. Valpo is 3-5-1 all-time against Drake in a series that goes back to 1995.
Scouting the Bulldogs: Head coach Gareth Smith’s squad enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed, set to battle fifth-seeded Valpo for the right to take on top-seeded Missouri State. The Bulldogs are led by Leroy Ensuguzi, who posted seven goals and 16 points during the regular season, pacing the team in both areas. Goalkeeper Luke Anderson has made 41 saves and owns a 1.57 goals against average. Drake was picked to finish third in the preseason poll.
Scouting the Bears: Should Valpo top Drake in the opening round, the team will advance to battle Missouri State, which finished the regular season as the nation’s only unbeaten and untied team. The Bears are ranked 10th nationally as of the Nov. 5 United Soccer Coaches poll. Matthew Bently has 13 goals and 30 points to lead the team, while Josh Dolling owns six goals and a team-high five assists. Stuart Wilkin is another key contributor with five goals and four assists to his credit. Goalkeeper Michael Creek has made 32 saves and has an 0.63 GAA.
Success vs. The Best: Valpo came within five minutes of adding to the program’s history of beating Top 25 opponents on Wednesday, Oct. 30 against then No. 9 Missouri State, the only undefeated and untied team in the nation. Valpo held a 2-0 lead as late as the 72nd minute, but eventually fell 3-2 in overtime despite becoming the first team to score two goals in a match against a sound Bears’ defense this season. Valpo was in front for 42 minutes, the second-longest any team has led against Missouri State this year behind Tulsa back on Sept. 14. Valpo has five wins and one draw against Top 25 sides since the start of the 2013 campaign.
Series Notes – Missouri State: The aforementioned heartbreaker saw Valpo’s all-time record against Missouri State slip to 0-10-1 in a head-to-head series that started in 1989. The lone draw came 1-1 on Sept. 19, 2008 in Springfield. Valpo is 0-5 against the Bears since joining the MVC prior to the 2017 campaign. The only time in the 16-match regular season that No. 10 Missouri State permitted multiple goals in a match was the Oct. 30 tilt at Valpo, which was played through cold and rainy weather conditions.
Saluting Six Seniors: With each time they take the pitch in the conference tournament, six Valpo seniors will put their careers on the line. Adan Garcia, Demar Rose, Jorn-Jan van de Beld, Dylan Waugaman, Julien Bertho and Chris Villalobos were all honored before this past Saturday’s home finale against Loyola as the six seniors are set to depart following the 2019 campaign.
- Three members of the senior class transferred into the program, while three others have been with the team for the extent of their collegiate careers.
- Adan Garcia enters Saturday’s match with 70 career appearances, the most among active Valpo players. He’s been a fixture on the pitch for head coach Mike Avery’s squad, appearing in 70 of the team’s 72 games over the last four seasons. The only two matches he has missed were Aug. 27, 2016 at Loyola (the first game of his freshman season) and Sept. 2, 2019 vs. IU Northwest (this year’s season opener). He has 11 goals, 11 assists and 33 points during his Valpo tenure. Garcia’s list of accolades includes 2018 All-MVC Honorable Mention, 2018 Preseason All-MVC, 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-Region Third Team and 2017 Second Team All-MVC. Garcia is majoring in finance.
- Captain Demar Rose is the longest-tenured member of the program and the only player still active who competed on the 2015 squad. He has seen action in 65 games including all 34 over the last two seasons. Rose missed the entire 2017 campaign with an injury. His career resume includes three goals, two assists and eight points, but his contributions go beyond the numbers as the engine of the team in the midfield. Rose represented Valpo on the All-MVC First Team in 2018 and was tabbed to the 2019 Preseason All-MVC squad. Rose is majoring in communition.
- Chris Villalobos has seen the pitch 52 times over his four seasons despite being limited to five games due to an injury in 2018. He owns three career assists, all coming in his first two years. He is on pace to graduate with a degree in finance.
- After transferring from Oregon State, Dylan Waugaman has played in 40 games over three seasons at Valpo. He has twice found the back of the net this year while placing nine shots on frame. The Houston native has thrived both on the pitch and in the classroom, where he finished his undergraduate degree with a 3.99 GPA in accounting and has begun his master’s in business administration. He was a 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-American while also earning 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team, 2018 MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team and the 2018 Bill Steinbrecher Sportsmanship Award.
- After joining the program as a junior college transfer, Julien Bertho has played in 25 games over two seasons including 12 in 2019. He accounted for an assist in this year’s season opener vs. IU Northwest. The Plumelec, France native has made key contributions on defense for the Brown & Gold. He is majoring in finance.
- Goalkeeper Jorn-Jan van de Beld has played in five games and made four starts during his lone season at Valpo. He has accrued 17 saves in 215 minutes including three in a 1-0 win at Evansville on Nov. 3, providing Valpo’s first shutout of the season. That effort helped him take home MVC Defensive Player of the Week honors, becoming the first Valpo player to do so since Nacho Miras early in the 2017 campaign. He is majoring in biomedical technology.
Repeat Recipient: Valpo fifth-year senior Dylan Waugaman was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team for the second consecutive season last Thursday, Nov. 7. Waugaman will again move on to Academic All-America voting after being named a CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-American last year. He finished his undergraduate degree with a 3.99 GPA in accounting and is pursuing an MBA.
Blanking the Aces: Valpo enjoyed its first shutout win of the season in the Oct. 27 regular season road finale, beating Evansville 1-0. Goalkeeper Jorn-Jan van de Beld made three saves to earn the clean sheet in just his fourth appearance in a Valpo kit and first in Valley play. Ryan Madondo scored the game-winning goal to help the Brown & Gold sweep the regular season series with their southern instate foes.
Three-Assist Showing: Senior midfielder Adan Garcia made Valpo history by contributing to all three goals in a 3-1 road victory over Drake on Oct. 23. He was credited with an assist on all three, becoming just the second player in program history and first since 1985 (Thomas Froats) to notch three assists in one game. He became the 20th player in the nation and first in the Missouri Valley Conference with a three-assist showing in 2019. In addition, Garcia cracked the program record book in career assists by upping his total to 11. He now owns sole possession of 10th in program history and is the first Valpo player with a double-figure assist total since Adrian Ortiz finished his collegiate tenure with 13 in 2010.
Honored Again: For the second consecutive week, Valpo received a Missouri Valley Conference honor on Nov. 5. Just seven days after Adan Garcia became the second Valpo player this season to garner MVC Offensive Player of the Week recognition, Jorn-Jan van be Beld became the first to take home MVC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Tuesday, Nov. 5. It very well could have been awarded to the entire defense as the back line also played a key role in a 1-0 shutout victory over Evansville on Nov. 3. Playing in just his fourth game and making his MVC debut, van de Beld became the first Valpo goalkeeper to turn in a clean sheet this year. Ironically, it came exactly a year to the day of Valpo’s last shutout, a 1-0 win at Drake on Nov. 3, 2018.
Holst Atop Valley: Freshman Edvin Holst is hoping to become the first Valpo goalkeeper to lead a league in saves since Ryan Schwarz in 2007. Holst is up to 65 in 12 games this season, nine ahead of Evansville’s Frederick Reimer but in nine fewer games. Holst is by far the league leader in saves per game at 5.42 and ranks second in save percentage at .730. He is eighth nationally in saves per game through Nov. 7.
Four-Goal Club: Mason Marcey posted his fourth goal of the season and the fifth of his career on Oct. 23 at Drake, becoming just the 10th player in the Missouri Valley Conference with four or more goals. He was the first Valpo player to hit that mark. Marcey had a three-point night in a 3-1 win over Drake, also notching his second assist of the year.
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. Valpo again showed its ability to come from behind on Oct. 23 at Drake, erasing a 1-0 hole to beat the Bulldogs 3-1. Both of Valpo’s MVC wins have come when the opponent scored first.
Three-Goal Outburst: Valpo’s three-goal output on Oct. 23 at Drake was the team’s most prosperous since scoring eight times in a game against IU Northwest on Sept. 2. The last time Valpo had a three-goal showing in conference play was back on Sept. 16, 2017, also at Drake, a 3-2 overtime victory.
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. During October, Valpo had five straight away from home, the team’s longest string of road games since opening the 2017 season with six straight.
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.
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 11 career assists for a total of 33 points during his four-year tenure.
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.
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.