Match #11: Friday, Sept. 29, 3 p.m. CDT
Valpo (8-2, 2-0 Mid-Con) at Youngstown State (2-6, 0-0 Horizon)
Match #12: Sunday Oct. 1, 1 p.m. CDT
Valpo (8-2, 2-0 Mid-Con) at Oakland (3-7, 0-0 Mid-Con)
This Week in Crusader Soccer: After a brief two-match homestand, Valparaiso takes the longest winning streak in school history back on the road for its next three contests beginning with a pair this weekend. On Friday, the Crusaders will tangle with future Horizon League foe Youngstown State before returning to Mid-Continent Conference action on Sunday at Oakland.
On the Air: Friday's match at Youngstown State will be carried live by WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Sunday's contest at Oakland will be carried on a tape-delayed basis with the match airing on Monday at 2 p.m. Adam Amin and Matt Engelbrecht will call all the action both days.
Series Notes: Valparaiso has won all four previous meetings against Youngstown State dating back to the 1999 season. The Crusaders won the lone match played in Youngstown, Ohio, 6-2, back in 2000. Last year, the Brown and Gold notched a 3-1 victory at Eastgate Field. Oakland holds a 7-3-1 advantage all-time against the Crusaders dating back to 1998. Valpo holds a 2-1 edge in Rochester, Mich. though. The two schools have met in Mid-Continent Conference Tournament action three times, with a 1-1-1 result. Last year, Oakland won the regular season meeting in Valparaiso 1-0 before the Crusaders posted a 3-1 victory in the Mid-Con Championship match.
outing Youngstown State: The Penguins have been idle for nearly two weeks since a 3-2 victory over The Citadel September 17. A future Horizone League foe for the Crusaders, the Penguins are returning home for just the third time this season to face Valpo. Jordan Gapczynski leads Youngstown State with six points on three goals while Jodi Bowlen and Christi Williams each have a goal and an assist each. In goal, Caitlin Bodzioney has played all 714 minutes with a 1.51 goals against average.
Scouting Oakland: The Golden Grizzlies open up Mid-Con action against Valpo this season and enter the week having won two of their last four matches after a rough 1-5 start. Last week, Oakland defeated Michigan 2-1 before falling 4-1 at home to Dayton. Kristi Evans leads the Golden Grizzlies offense with four goals and eight points while Kristi Tomczyk has added three goals and seven points. In goal, Kim Herbst has seen a majority of the action, posting a 2.79 goals against average.
Wrapping Up Last Week's Action: The Crusaders began last weekend with a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory over Mid-Con foe Oral Roberts as Jackie Thomas found the back of the net with just 1:33 remaining in the extra session. Lauren Cooper put Valpo in front early only to see the Golden Eagles tie the match before intermission. Sunday against Evansville, Lori Johnson scored midway through the second half while Laura Murphy and Sarah Jewell each tallied goals as well on the way to a 3-0 victory. Erin Murray recorded her second shutout of the year in the win.
Valpo Off to Best Start Ever: The Crusaders' 8-2 mark is the best start in program history. Valpo's previous best 10-match start was 5-4-1, in 2005. Last year's squad also was 7-4-1 through the first 12 contests.
Longest Win Streak in School History: Valpo's six-match winning streak heading into this weekend ties the school record for consecutive victories. The 2000 team also won six straight matches from September 17-October 10 of that year.
Succeeding 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 12 contests (6-0-6) dating back to 2003.
Johnson Likes the Winners: Lori Johnson has already scored four match-winning goals this season for the Crusaders after her victor against Evansville. She has now tied Lori Moore's mark in both 2000 and 2001 for the school record in a single season. The sophomore has six match-winners in her career, third most all-time in school history.
First Time Goal Scorers Continue: Sophomore defender Laura Murphy found the back of the net for the first time in her career Sunday against Evansville. She is the seventh Crusader to tally their first career goal this season.
Road Warriors: Valpo is 5-0 on the road thus far this season. 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, including the two this weekend, prior to the Mid-Con Tournament.
Johnson-Jewell Leads Mid-Con in Scoring: Forwards Lori Johnson and Sarah Jewell rank one-two in the Mid-Con in goal scoring this season. Johnson has found the back of the net five times in ten matches while Jewell has four tallies.
Murray Continues Assult on the Record Book: Junior netminder Erin Murray continues to hold the career goals against average record for Valpo. Her 0.77 GAA this season would also be tops on the single season chart. Murray added to her career record with her 13th career shutout on Sunday afternoon against Evansville and has six more blankings than any other goalkeeper in school history.
Who's Scoring Next: Valparaiso leads the Mid-Con with 22 goals on the year, but has shared the wealth. Ten different players have found the back of the net thus far.
Murray Named Mid-Con Defensive Player of the Week on September 18: 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 between September 15 and 17. The junior netminder notched a shutout against Western Illinois as well in the Mid-Con opener.
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.