Tuesday, December 05, 2006Mid-Con Regular Season Champions
12-4-3 Overall, 4-0-2 Mid-Con
This Year in Crusader Soccer:
Valparaiso closed out the 2006 season in record-setting style, tying a school mark for victories while approaching or setting several other records. The Crusaders won their second straight Mid-Continent Conference regular season title, as well as their first outright crown, finishing the season with a 12-4-3 overall record.
On the Air:
WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso), the Valparaiso University campus radio station carried 11 live women's soccer matches during the 2006 season. In addition to airing the games around Valparaiso, they were available online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Wrapping Up Mid-Con Tournament Action:
Valparaiso saw its season come to a close on Friday, November 10, in the semifinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament with a 3-2 loss to fourth-seeded Western Illinois. The Crusaders, the tournament's top seed, fell behind midway through the first half. However, just 32 seconds later, the Crusaders tied the match on a Jessie White goal from Laura Murphy. Ani Michl put Valpo on top just before halftime with her first collegiate goal at the 40:40 mark to give the Brown and Gold a 2-1 lead at the break. The Westerwinds scored twice in the first nine minutes of the second half, though, on the way to the upset victory.
Valpo Ties School Victory Mark:
The Brown and Gold tied Valparaiso's school record for wins in a season. Valpo's 12-4-3 record equaled the 2005 team's win total from the 12-8-1 campaign. The Crusaders also posted the best winning percentage in school history (.711).
The Crusaders won their first outright Mid-Continent Conference crown in 2006, the second straight season Valpo has taken home a regular season title. Last year the Brown and Gold finished on top for the first time in school history, but had to share the crown with Oakland. Valpo is just the second school in Mid-Con history to go back-to-back, matching the feat accomplished by Oakland from 1999-2001.
Scoring Best All-Time at Valpo:
The 40 goals Valpo scored this year is the most all-time for a Crusader women's soccer team in one season. The 2005 team previously held the school mark of 36. The 27 assists on the year tied for the second most in school history with the 2004 squad. The 2005 team holds the school mark with 29 helpers.
A Record-Setting Overtime:
Valpo set a new school record for extra session matches in a season with its seventh overtime match of the year in the regular season finale against Southern Utah. The previous record was six set by the 1998 squad. The Brown and Gold fared much better than the 1998 team though, going 4-0-3, compared with a 1-4-1 result eight years ago.
More Success in Overtime:
Valpo needed extra time for four victories this season, but continued to have success in overtime. The Crusaders are unbeaten in overtime in their last 15 contests (6-0-9) dating back to 2003.
Leaving the Mid-Con on Top:
This was Valpo's farewell tour through the Mid-Continent Conference, as the Crusaders will join the Horizon League beginning July 1, 2007. Since joining the Mid-Con for women's soccer before the 1999 season, Valpo posted a 24-15-5 mark in conference play. The Crusaders competed in six Mid-Con Tournaments in the eight years of play, having posted a 3-5-1 mark all-time in the postseason.
Murray Continues to Post Shutouts:
Erin Murray registered three shutouts this season increasing her school mark to 14 in her three-year stint with the Brown and Gold.
Valpo concluded its regular season road campaign with the most successful travel season in school history. The Brown and Gold finished the season on the road with a 7-1-1 mark, bettering the old school record of five wins set by the 2001 squad (5-3).
Jewell's 10 Goals Third Most in a Single Season:
Sarah Jewell's 10 markers this season tied for the third most in school history on the single season list for the Crusaders, equalling the total set by Lori Moore (2001) and Kendall Brown (2005). Valpo's school record is 11 set by Moore in 2000 and matched by Emily King in 2005. Jewell's 22 points this season are fifth best in Valpo history as well.
Three Among Scoring Elite:
Sophomore Kendall Brown has moved among the top all-time in goal scoring. With five goals this season, Brown now has 15 for her career, tying Elizabeth Tatro (1993-1996) for fourth place all-time on the school list. She trails Lisa Springs (1998-2001) by three goals all-time. Teammate Lori Johnson's 11 career markers tie her for sixth all-time with Lindsay Holley (2001-2004). Freshman Sarah Jewell is already on the all-time goal scoring list as well, with her 10 tallies ranking eighth best in school history.
Murphy Ties School Assist Record:
With her assist against Western Illinois in the Mid-Con semifinals, Laura Murphy moved into a tie for with Lindsay Holley for a school record six assists at Valparaiso in a single season. Holley originally set the record during the 2003 campaign.
McGlone, Bartels, and Murphy Tied for Seventh on All-Time Assist Charts:
Dana McGlone and Jen Bartels have each moved into a tie for seventh place on Valpo's career assist list. The pair each have seven during their career wearing the Brown and Gold. Junior Laura Murphy joined the duo with seven assists with her helper during the Mid-Con Tournament.
Murray Has Stellar Season:
Junior netminder Erin Murray posted a 0.87 goals against average in nearly 1559 minutes of play this season. She allowed just 15 goals on the year, saving shots at an .812 rate. She broke Valpo's single season goals against average record, which she set last year at 1.35.
Hard to Score on Valpo in 2006:
The Crusaders allowed just 17 goals during the 19-match 2006 season. Valpo shattered the school record for fewest goals allowed, 30, set by the 2005 squad. The goals against average of 0.85 as a team bettered the 2005 team's mark of 1.41.
Johnson Nothing but a Winner:
Lori Johnson has had the flair for the dramatic throughout the first two years of her career with the Brown and Gold. This season, the sophomore tallied four match-winning goals, tied with Lori Moore (2000 and 2001) for best in a single season. In addition, her six career match-winners are third most ever at Valpo. Lori Moore (1999-2002) scored 10 victors while Emily King (2002-2005) had seven.
Undefeated in League Play:
Valpo went 4-0-2 this season in Mid-Continent Conference action, the first time the Crusaders have gone through league action without a loss. The Brown and Gold's previous best in league play was 4-1, set by the 2001 and 2002 teams.
Terrific Senior Class:
Valpo's senior class is small, but the duo will leave Valpo as the best graduating class of all-time. In the four years that Jen Bartels and Liberty Ziegahn have been on the team, Valpo went 37-31-9, made three trips to the Mid-Con Tournament, including last year's championship, and earned the first NCAA Tournament berth in school history.
Longest Win Streak in School History Set This Season:
Valpo's eight-match winning streak from September 8 through October 1 was the longest in school history, bettering the mark set by the 2000 squad of six consecutive victories.
Four Crusaders Earn Mid-Con Honors this Season:
Valpo had four Mid-Continent Conference Athlete of the Week selections this season. Kendall Brown (Sept. 11) and Jessie White (Oct. 2) each earned Offensive accolades while Erin Murray (Sept. 18) and Jackie Thomas (Sept. 25) were honored for the Defensive award.
Jewell Named Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year:
Sarah Jewell became the second Crusader in school history to be named the Mid-Continent Conference Newcomer of the Year. The freshman joins Lori Moore (1999) as the only other player to earn the prestigious honor. Jewell led Valpo in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points on the season, ranking second in the league in both categories.
Anthony Earns Third Mid-Con Coach of the Year Honor:
For the third time in his nine-year coaching career, Stephen Anthony was named the Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year. Anthony shared the honor in 2005 and also earned it outright in 2001. Valpo's all-time winningest coach, he led the Crusaders to a school record-tying 12 victories this season as well as an outright Mid-Con regular season title.
Three Crusaders Earn First Team Accolades:
Valparaiso was represented by three players this season on the Mid-Con's First Team. Freshman forward Sarah Jewell led Valpo with 10 goals and 22 points while junior goalkeeper Erin Murray registered three shutouts and posted a school-best 0.87 goals against average. Sophomore defender Jackie Thomas added four goals while helping anchor the Brown and Gold's backline.
Cooper Earns Second Team Accolades:
Redshirt-junior midfielder Lauren Cooper was named to the Mid-Continent Conference Second Team this season. She scored three goals and added an assist for the Brown and Gold while acting as a steadying influence in the midfield.
Jewell and White on All-Newcomer Team:
Sarah Jewell and Jessie White were each named to the league's All-Newcomer Team. Jewell, the Mid-Con's Newcomer of the Year, ranked second in the league in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points. White, a freshman midfielder, scored three goals and added two assists for eight points on the year.
Lots Returning for Valpo in 2007:
As Valpo moves to the Horizon League in 2007, the Crusaders will return a wealth of talent. The Brown and Gold are set to return 21 players for the campaign, including 10 starters from this year's Mid-Con championship squad.
Among the Nation's Best in Final Statistical Ranking:
Valparaiso finished the 2007 season ranked among the best programs in NCAA Division I in a pair of statistical categories at the end of the season. The Crusaders 2.11 goals per game was 26th best in terms of scoring offense while Valpo's .711 winning percentage ranked 37th in the country.