Match #18: Thursday, Oct. 26, 1:30 p.m. CDT
Southern Utah (5-8-2, 2-1-2 Mid-Con) at Valpo (12-3-2, 4-0-1 Mid-Con)
This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso looks to capture back-to-back Mid-Continent Conference titles on Thursday afternoon hosting Southern Utah at Eastgate Field. The Crusaders shared the league title last season, and are looking for the first outright crown in school history.
On the Air: Thursday's match against the Thunderbirds will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Series Notes: Valparaiso holds a 5-1 series advantage against Southern Utah, including a 2-0 edge at Eastgate Field. Last year the two schools split a pair of meetings. The Thunderbirds won the regular season contest in Cedar City, Utah, 1-0, before the Crusaders rebounded with a 2-0 victory in the Mid-Continent Conference semifinals six days later. In the last meeting played in Valparaiso, the Brown and Gold posted a 2-1 double-overtime win back in 2004.
Scouting Southern Utah: The Thunderbirds enter the final weekend of action having nearly clinched a spot in next weekend's Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. The Thunderbirds are in position to finish third or fourth in the final league standings. Southern Utah is currently in third place in the Mid-Con, but has dropped two straight matches overall. The Thunderbirds dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Utah Valley State last Saturday, their last time on the field. Brooklyn Phillips leads the Southern Utah offensive attack, scoring seven goals and added three assists for 17 points. Shaley Ipson has added five goals on the year. In goal, Holly Davis has seen a majority of the minutes, posting a 1.96 goals against average along with a .696 save percentage.
Wrapping Up Last Week's Action: Valpo scored four times in the match's first 39 minutes on the way to a 4-1 victory over IUPUI on Friday afternoon at Eastgate Field. Sarah Jewell scored twice while Laura Murphy added the match-winner and an assist. Lauren Cooper also found the back of the net for the Brown and Gold. In goal, Erin Murray made seven saves on eight shots on goal to record the victory. Valpo outshot the Jaguars 16-14 for the match. Emily Hicks scored IUPUI's lone goal in the 66th minute.
Valpo Ties School Victory Mark: The victory over IUPUI allowed the Brown and Gold to tie Valparaiso's school record for wins in a season. Valpo's current 12-3-2 record equals the 2005 team's win total from the 12-8-1 campaign. The Crusaders have also assured themselves the best winning percentage in school history.
Scoring Best All-Time at Valpo: The 37 goals Valpo has already scored 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 26 assists on the year are third most in school history for a team, trailing just the 2004 (27) and 2005 (29) teams.
Valpo Set for Mid-Con Tournament: The Crusaders are assured of wearing their home whites in the semifinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament next weekend. Valpo can finish no worse than second, and with a victory against Southern Utah will be guaranteed of the top seed. Valpo will face either IUPUI, Southern Utah, or Western Illinois in their first match of the tournament.
A Record-Setting Overtime: Valpo has equalled the school record for extra session matches in a season set by the 1998 squad with six. The Brown and Gold have fared much better than the 1998 team though, going 4-0-2, compared with a 1-4-1 result eight years ago.
More Success in Overtime: Valpo has needed extra time for four victories this season, but continued to have success in overtime. The Crusaders are unbeaten in overtime in their last 14 contests (6-0-8) dating back to 2003.
Road Warriors: Valpo concluded its road campaign with the most successful travel season in school history. The Brown and Gold finished the regular 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).
Murray Continues to Post Shutouts: Erin Murray continues to keep opponents off of the scoreboard. The junior now has registered three shutouts this season and continues to increase the school mark with 14 in her nearly three-year stint with the Brown and Gold.
Jewell's Nine Goals Fifth Most in a Single Season: Sarah Jewell's nine markers this season are fifth most in school history on the single season list for the Crusaders. Valpo's school record is 11 set by Lori Moore in 2000 and equalled by Emily King in 2005.
Brown and Johnson 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 rank her tied for sixth all-time with Lindsay Holley (2001-2004).
McGlone and Bartels 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.
Murphy Needs One Assist to Tie School: With her next assist this season, Laura Murphy will move into a tie for the most assists all-time for the Crusaders in a single season. She enters this weekend with five helpers already on the year, one shy of Lindsay Holley's 2003 mark.
Murray Having Stellar Season: Junior netminder Erin Murray has posted a 0.73 goals against average in 1359 minutes of play this season. She has allowed just 11 goals during the span, saving shots at an .841 rate. Valpo's single season record for GAA currently is 1.35 and save percentage is .777, both set by Murray last season.
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 has had four Mid-Continent Conference Athlete of the Week selections thus far this season. Kendall Brown (Sept. 11) and Jessie White (Oct. 2) have each earned Offensive accolades while Erin Murray (Sept. 18) and Jackie Thomas (Sept. 25) have been honored for the Defensive award.
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.