The start of the 2008 Valparaiso University women’s soccer season will be the earliest in school history when the Crusaders face Ball State at Eastgate Field on August 22 as head coach John Marovich released the upcoming schedule.
Marovich, in his first season as Valpo’s head coach and seventh overall with the Crusader program, has nine home matches on the slate for 2008.
When Valpo opens the year with Ball State, it will mark the first time since 2001 the two instate foes have met on the field. The Crusaders will then hit the road for five of their next six matches, including a road trip to the Rocky Mountains to battle Colorado College and Air Force.
After Valpo comes home to battle IUPUI, the Crusaders return to the road for non-conference tilts against Indiana State, Northern Illinois, and IPFW.
“The 2008 schedule will give us a great early test with games against last season’s MAC regular season champion Ball State as well as our trip to Colorado to play Colorado College and the Air Force Academy,” head coach John Marovich said. “The remaining non-conference schedule will allow us to experience different game environments which will mentally prepare us for the outstanding Horizon League schedule.”
Seven of the next nine matches will then be played at Eastgate Field, including the final two non-conference contests prior to the start of league play. Valpo will host Central Michigan and South Dakota before heading to Indianapolis to begin Horizon League competition against state rival Butler on September 26.
Wright State, Youngstown State, and Loyola (Chicago) will all visit Valparaiso during the 2008 season as well, while the Brown and Gold will face Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on October 12 in their final non-conference contest. The home campaign will wrap up on October 19 with a Senior Day match against Cleveland State.
Valpo will close the regular season in Wisconsin against Green Bay and Milwaukee on October 24 and 26 before heading to the Horizon League Tournament. The 8-9 match will take place on October 29 with the quarterfinals held on November 2, all on campus sites. The semifinals and championship will be held at the highest remaining seed November 7 and 9, with the champion earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Crusaders are coming off of a fifth place finish in the Horizon League in 2007 with a 10-9 overall record and a 4-4 conference mark. Marovich has 14 returnees back from last year’s squad.