Match #18: Friday, Oct. 26, 6 p.m. CDT
Valpo (10-7, 4-3 Horizon) at
Wright State (11-4-1, 4-1-1 Horizon)
This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso wraps up the 2007 regular season on Friday evening as the Crusaders travel to Dayton, Ohio for a key Horizon League match against Wright State. Valpo needs a win to keep hopes alive for a top-four finish in the final standings, which would earn the Crusaders a home quarterfinal game next weekend in the Horizon League Tournament.
On the Air: Friday’s match at Wright State will be broadcast live on the Horizon League Network. HLN can be seen through www.valpo.edu/athletics or through www.horizonleaguenetwork.tv.
Series Notes: Wright State has won all four previous meetings against Valparaiso, but the two schools have not met since October 25, 1996 when the Raiders notched a 3-0 win at Eastgate Field. The Crusaders have dropped both previous matches in Dayton. Valpo’s last trip to Wright State was a 3-2 loss on October 22, 1995. The Brown and Gold began its series with the Raiders in 1993, the first season for the Valpo women’s soccer program.
Scouting Wright State: The Raiders still have hopes of finishing second in the Horizon League standings heading into the final weekend of play. Wright State needs two victories to finish second, but could also finish as low as fifth in the rankings. Amber Kasmer paces the Wright State offensive attack with 11 goals and 25 total points on the season. She has tallied four match-winning goals thus far this season. Amy Miller has added eight goals and three assists for 19 points, with four of the markers coming on penalty kicks. In goal, Meghan Hackerson has played all but 17:29 between the posts for the Raiders, sporting a 0.87 goals against average and an .806 save percentage. As a team, Wright State has scored 31 goals while surrendering just 14.
Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action: Valpo began its regular season-ending three-match road trip with a pair of shutout victories last weekend. The Crusaders got a goal from Brittany Derksen just 6:02 into the second half at Youngstown State on Friday for a 1-0 shutout win. On Sunday, Kendall Brown tallied the match-winner with 38:55 remaining and Lauren Cooper added an insurance goal late as the Brown and Gold defeated Cleveland State 2-0. Erin Murray combined to make five saves on the weekend to earn a pair of shutouts. Jessie White had an assist in each match for the Crusaders.
Crusaders In Hunt for Home Field: Valparaiso enters the final weekend in fourth place in the Horizon League standings and needs to at least maintain its position to earn home field in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament. Valpo needs to defeat Wright State and have either Wright State tie or lose to Loyola to pass the Raiders. The Crusaders could also get home field with a win and Butler either losing or tying one of its final two matches against Youngstown State and Cleveland State.
Valpo Has Record-Tying Home Season: The Crusaders have wrapped up the 2007 regular season at home tying the school record with seven wins at Eastgate Field. Valpo also won seven home matches during the 2005 season when the Brown and Gold went 7-1. The Crusaders would have a chance to set a new record if they host a quarterfinal contest.
Win Total Among Best Ever Already: Valparaiso’s 10 victories on the season already assure the Crusaders of a tie for the third best win total in school history, matching the 2001 and 2004 teams. The 2005 and 2006 squads each won 12 matches.
Goals Against Average Currently Second Best All-Time: Valparaiso enters the regular season finale having allowed just a 0.94 goals against average, surrendering 16 goals in more than 1,535 minutes of action. The current GAA is second best in school history, behind the 2006 team’s school record of 0.86.
Valpo Sets School Shutout Record: With two clean slates this past weekend, the Crusaders now have shutout eight opponents this season, setting the school’s single season record. This year’s team passed the 2004 squad which had blanked six opponents.
Murray to Set Matches Played Record: With Erin Murray’s next appearance between the posts for the Crusaders, she will move into sole possession of the top spot for matches played by a goalkeeper in Valpo history. She is currently tied with Amy Cavanaugh (1996-1999) for the top spot with 69 contests.
Murray Keeps Adding to Shutout Record: Erin Murray recorded her fifth and sixth shutouts this season against Youngstown State and Cleveland State, giving her 20 for her career. Her school record is the most clean sheets for any Crusader, male or female, in school history. The six shutouts this year are tied for the school’s single season record, matching her own total from 2004.
Brown, Johnson, and Jewell Among Points Leaders: Kendall Brown has moved into third place in school history with 44 career points. Lori Johnson is seventh with 31 points while Sarah Jewell ranks eighth with 27 points.
Thomas Makes Goals Count: Jackie Thomas continues to lead the Crusaders in scoring with four goals, all of which have resulted in match-winners for Valpo. Her four match-winners are tied with Lori Moore (2000 and 2001) and Lori Johnson (2006) for the most in a single season in Crusader history. In addition, Thomas now has five career victors, tied for sixth all-time.
More Winners: Lori Johnson, Brittany Derksen, and Kendall Brown all have moved into a tie for third place on the career match-winning goals list with six each. Derksen and Brown each registered their sixth last weekend in the two victories.
Five Among Scoring Elite: Valparaiso currently has five players among the top-10 in school history on the all-time goal scoring list. Junior Kendall Brown has moved into a tie for third all-time with 18 goals while classmate Lori Johnson is alone in sixth place with 12 for her career. Sophomore Sarah Jewell has moved into a tie for seventh on the scoring charts after posting goal number 11 earlier this season. Brittany Derksen now has 10 career goals, moving into ninth place alone while Jackie Thomas is tied for tenth in school laurels with eight tallies.
Several Crusaders on All-Time Assist Charts: Kendall Brown and Dana McGlone have moved into a tie for seventh place on the all-time assist list at Valpo with eight career helpers. Lori Johnson and Laura Murphy are all tied for ninth place with seven assists in their career.
Murray Tops in GAA and Save Percentage: Erin Murray’s 1.18 goals against average for her career is best in Crusader history. In addition, the Crusaders has a .783 save percentage, also tops among anyone ever wearing the Brown and Gold.
Winning Non-Conference Season Again: Valpo has assured itself of its fourth straight winning season outside of league play. The Crusaders have gone 6-4 this year, and have posted a winning mark outside of conference play every year beginning in 2004.
Michl Scholar-Athlete of the Week: Ani Michl was named the U.S. Army Horizon League Scholar-Athlete of the Week on October 2 for her efforts both on the field and in the classroom. Michl had two goals against Indiana State for her on the field accolades and in the classroom was an All-Academic Team member in the Mid-Continent Conference last year.
Seniors Best Class Ever at Valpo: The six seniors that are wrapping up their careers with the Crusaders have won 44 matches in four years, the most of any graduating class in Valpo soccer history. They will graduate having posted the only four winning seasons in the history of the women’s soccer program at Valparaiso.
Valpo Assured of Finishing Higher than Prediction: The Crusaders were selected to finish in sixth place in their inaugural season as members of the Horizon League according to the preseason poll conducted of the league’s head coaches. However, entering the final weekend of play, Valparaiso has assured itself of no lower than a fifth place finish.