Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Fall in Offensive Duel With Michigan
Chadd Sult registered an assist on Valpo's first goal Wednesday. (Ray Acevedo)
Chadd Sult registered an assist on Valpo's first goal Wednesday. (Ray Acevedo)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A scoreless game at the half quickly turned into a offensive battle Wednesday night, but unfortunately for Valparaiso, the Crusaders came out on the wrong end of a 4-2 decision against Big Ten co-leader Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Congratulations to Michigan, not only on the win tonight which they certainly earned, but on this beautiful soccer facility we were able to play in,” said Crusader head coach Mike Avery.  “It's got to be the nicest college soccer field I've been on, and it's really a testament to the team here and what they've done and how Coach Burns and his staff has built the program.  It was a really fun environment for us to play in tonight.”

Both sides had plenty of first half opportunities to crack the scoreboard, with Valpo tallying nine shot attempts and Michigan seven, but neither squad pushed a shot across the goal line.  None of the Crusaders' nine shots in the opening 45 minutes were on frame, while fifth-year senior goalkeeper Ryan Schwarz (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) stopped three Wolverine shots in the first half to keep the game scoreless.

Both Schwarz and Michigan netminder Chris Blais had to work to keep the opposition off the board in the early stages of the second half, as both goalkeepers made a trio of stops in the opening 12 minutes.  Finally, the Wolverines' Matt Schmitt broke into the scoring column in the 59th minute, as his shot deflected off a Crusader defender into the back of the net to give Michigan a 1-0 advantage.

Redshirt junior midfielder Stefan Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson [College of Lake County/Marquette]) would even things up for the Crusaders in the 72nd minute, though, heading in a cross from the left flank for his third goal of the season.  Senior Adrian Ortiz (Berwyn, Ill./Morton West) and junior Chadd Sult (South Bend, Ind./John Adams) each received assists on Antonijevic's marker, the former earning his 12th career assist.

Michigan quickly regained the lead, as goals by Soony Saad in the 74th minute and Schmitt in the 76th minute gave the Wolverines a 3-1 lead.  Less than three minutes after Schmitt's second goal, Valpo pulled back within one goal, as sophomore Jaymie Bullard (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) set up senior Jake Freisinger (Saint John, Ind./Lake Central), who fired a shot through the defense and into the back of the net for his second goal of the year to cut the deficit to 3-2.  But Saad would add his second tally of the match in the 83rd minute for the final tally as the Wolverines earned the two-goal win.

“I thought we held up pretty well tonight, all things considered,” said Avery.  “For the better part of an hour, it was a very evenly played game.  I think the goals that came in started to change the complexion of game, which got really wide open.  We were forced to push forward to try to get back in the game, which left us exposed in the back and probably created a final score which was a little bit flattering towards Michigan.”

Both teams created plenty of chances Wednesday, as Michigan (8-2-3) registered 24 shot attempts to Valparaiso's 19.  Schwarz ended the match with six saves in goal for the Crusaders, while Blais stopped four shots in the winning effort for the Wolverines.

“All in all, the guys played well tonight,” said Avery.  “We created a lot of good chances and scored a couple of nice goals against the Big Ten leader at their place.  I'm proud of our guys, and we look forward to another big opportunity at Ohio State on Sunday to go out and see what we're all about.”

Valparaiso (6-5-2) moves from one Big Ten co-leader to another, as the Crusaders will travel to Columbus on Sunday to take on #16/17 Ohio State.  Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m., with live stats available at www.valpoathletics.com.  Live video for the game is also available for a fee through Ohio State's website.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo