Friday, September 08, 2006J.J. Eschenburg
(Edgewood, N.M./Moriarty) had a goal and an assist and Ryan Schwarz
(Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) made seven saves for his second shutout of the season as the Crusaders improved to 4-1 with a 2-0 win over Western Michigan Friday night at Eastgate Field.
Valpo is 4-1 for the first time in school history, bettering the 1987 team's 3-1-1 start en route to the winningest Crusader season of all time. The Brown and Gold are only two wins shy of their 2005 total and have started 3-0 at home for the first time since 1984, the second season of Crusader soccer.
In a physical battle on Friday, Eschenburg got Valpo on the board in the 40th minute when he trickled a ball through the Bronco defense and past keeper Casey Aubil after a loose ball found his feet just beyond the box. This match-winner was the second in the last three matches for the senior, who has two goals this season and five in his career, all since the start of 2005.
In the 73rd minute, Eschenburg found Jon Brighton
(Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) streaking towards the net and flicked a beautiful ball off his head right to the senior who beat the keeper one-on-one for his first marker of the year. Eschenburg's assist gave him three on the year, a team-high, and seven points this season, good for third best on the team and in the Mid-Con.
Schwarz withstood an aggressive Western Michigan attack, especially in the second half when the Broncos out-shot the Crusaders 11-6. Schwarz, who has played every minute in net for Valpo this season, lowered his goals against average to 1.75 with his second shutout of the year.
Western Michigan (1-4) out-shot the Crusaders 17-13 for the match and held a 6-4 advantage on corners, but were held scoreless for the first time all season. The Broncos lost for only the fourth time in 15 meetings with Valpo, and dropped one in the series for the first time since 1999.
The Crusaders (4-1) will look to make it a weekend sweep when they welcome Buffalo to Eastgate Field Sunday at 1:00 p.m. That match will be carried live on 95.1 FM and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.