Match #9: Friday, Sept. 22, 4 p.m. CDT
Oral Roberts (1-4-2, 0-0-1 Mid-Con) at Valpo (6-2, 1-0 Mid-Con)
Match #10: Sunday Sept. 24, 1 p.m. CDT
Evansville (3-3, 0-0 MVC) at Valpo (6-2, 1-0 Mid-Con)
This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso returns home to Eastgate Field following a successful 4-0 road trip over the past two weekends. On Friday, the Brown and Gold host Oral Roberts in Mid-Continent Conference action, while on Sunday Valpo entertains Evansville.
On the Air: Both Friday's and Sunday's matches will be carried live by WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Series Notes: Oral Roberts holds an 8-3 advantage all-time against Valpo in a series that dates back to 1998. The Golden Eagles hold a 3-1 edge at Eastgate Field. Last year, the Crusaders posted a 2-1 victory over Oral Roberts in Tulsa. Evansville holds a 6-1 series advantage against the Crusaders dating back to Valpo's inaugural season of 1993. The Crusaders are 0-3 against the Purple Aces at Eastgate Field. The two schools have not met since 2004 when the Crusaders won 4-3 in Evansville.
Scouting Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles are looking to snap a six-match winless streak after a season-opening victory against John Brown. Last weekend Oral Roberts opened Mid-Con play with a 1-1 draw against Southern Utah before dropping a 3-0 decision at Oklahoma. Gentry Detter leads the Golden Eagles in points with nine on two goals and five assists while Correne Walker is the team's leading goal scorer with three. Shelbi Morrison has posted a 1.72 goals against average and notched an .825 save percentage.
Scouting Evansville: The Purple Aces enter the week at .500 after posting a 3-0 victory at home against Virginia Tech last Saturday. Evansville is averaging 2.62 goals per game thus far, led by Kayla Lambert who has five markers as well as 12 points. Mia Tofano has added three goals and four assists while Whitney Raeon has a 1.37 GAA and a .765 save percentage in goal.
Wrapping Up Last Week's Action: Valpo opened Mid-Continent Conference play last Friday with a thrilling 1-0 victory at Western Illinois in overtime. Brittany Derksen scored her first goal of the season on a cross from Lori Johnson midway through the extra session and Erin Murray made four saves in goal for her first shutout of the season. Sunday against Northern Iowa, the Valpo offense exploded for four goals, while Murray and Mele Cabral combined on the Crusaders' second straight blanking.
Murray Named Mid-Con Defensive Player of the Week: Erin Murray was named the Mid-Con's Defensive Player of the Week after not surrendering a goal in more than 173 minutes of action last weekend. The junior netminder notched her school-best 12th career shutout against Western Illinois. She now has lowered her goals against average on the year to 0.86 and has notched an .812 save percentage.
Valpo Off to Best Start Ever: The Crusaders' 6-2 mark is the best start in program history. The 2005 squad went 5-3 through eight matches and were 5-5 through the first 10 contests. The 2000 team also went 5-5 at the 10-match mark in the season.
Succeeding in Overtime: Valpo has needed extra time for three victories this season, but continued to have success in overtime. The Crusaders are unbeaten in overtime in their last 11 contests (5-0-6) dating back to 2003.
Johnson Likes the Winners: Lori Johnson has already scored three match-winning goals this season for the Crusaders, tied for third all-time on the single season list. She needs just one more this year to tie Lori Moore's 2000 and 2001 mark of four in a season. The sophomore also has five match-winners in her career, tied with Lisa Springs (1998-2001) for third all-time in school history.
Brown Moves Into the Top 5 All-Time in Scoring: Sophomore Kendall Brown's has moved into fifth place alone on Valpo's career goal scoring list with 13 in her first two seasons with the Brown and Gold. She already has three this season.
Another First Time Scorer: Freshman Jackie Kondratko found the back of the net for the Brown and Gold in the victory at Northern Iowa, marking her first collegiate tally. She is the sixth Crusaders to tally their first career goal this season.
Murray Continues to Stay a Top the Record Books: Junior netminder Erin Murray continues to hold the career goals against average record for Valpo. Her 1.29 GAA is 0.73 better than second place on the Crusader charts. In addition, Murray's more than 3,772 minutes in goal are second behind Amy Cavanaugh's (1996-1999) 6,179 on that list.
Johnson Leads Mid-Con in Goals/Points: Forward Lori Johnson leads the Mid-Continent Conference in both goals and total points on the season. The sophomore has tallied four goals, tied for the league lead, and has a total of 10 points on the year.
Road Warriors: Valpo is 5-0 on the road thus far this season, and will head back out on the road for a three-match trip following this weekend's homestand. The five road triumphs tie the 2001 team for most wins on an opponent's home field in school history. Valpo has four road contests left on the schedule prior to the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament.
Valpo Highest Scoring Offense in the Mid-Con: Valparaiso leads the Mid-Con in goals (17) and points (44) heading into this week's action and is tied for the league lead with 10 assists. In addition, the Crusaders lead the Mid-Con having won 45 corner kick opportunities.
Fire Away: The Crusaders launched an offensive assault on the Lipscomb goal on September 10 as the Brown and Gold fired 39 shots toward frame, the second highest shot total in school history. Of the 39 shot attempts, one shy of the 1997 mark of 40 at Saint Mary's (Ind.), 29 of them were on goal, forcing Lady Bisons goalkeeper Katie Shelton to make 25 saves.
Brown Earns Offensive Honors from the Mid-Con: Kendall Brown was named the Mid-Continent Conference Offensive Player of the Week on September 11. At Belmont, the sophomore scored a pair of goals, including the match-winner in overtime, while tying the match late in the second half. She finished the weekend with a total of nine shot attempts. She had four shots at Belmont and five more at Lipscomb.
Valpo Picked Third in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected third in the Mid-Continent Conference preseason poll conducted of the league's head coaches. Valpo earned two first place votes but finished one point behind Oral Roberts in the race for second. Oakland is the preseason favorite.