Valparaiso (5-5-3, 1-2 Horizon)
Match #14: Friday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m. CDT
at Milwaukee (6-4-2, 2-0 Horizon)
Engelmann Field - Milwaukee, Wis.
Match #15: Sunday, Oct. 10, 12 p.m. CDT
at Green Bay (2-6-2, 0-2 Horizon)
Santaga Stadium - Green Bay, Wis.
This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso takes to the road for the final time during the regular season this weekend, heading north to Wisconsin for a pair of Horizon League battles. On Friday, the Crusaders will face Milwaukee in a rematch of last year’s Horizon League championship match before the Brown and Gold head to Green Bay on Sunday for another pivotal conference contest.
On the Air: Neither of this weekend’s matches will be broadcast live over the air or online. Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com for both matches though.
Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich holds a 26-20-7 record both overall and with Valpo in his third season at the helm of the Brown and Gold. Just the third head coach in program history, Marovich has the best winning percentage (.557) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories.
Series Notes: Milwaukee has won all 11 previous meetings between the Crusaders and Panthers in a series that dates back to 1993. Last year, the Panthers posted a 5-1 victory at Eastgate Field on October 4 before notching a 4-0 win on November 8 in Milwaukee in the championship match of the Horizon League Tournament. Green Bay leads the all-time series with Valpo 8-3-3 dating back to 1993. The Crusaders are 3-0-1 in the last four meetings with the Phoenix though, including a pair of wins one year ago. Valpo notched a 2-0 win at Eastgate Field on September 25 before posting a triumph by the same score on November 1 at Brown Field in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament.
Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action: Loyola’s Maggie Doe scored the lone goal of the match at the 68:01 mark on Friday afternoon at Eastgate Field as the Ramblers defeated the Crusaders 1-0. Kristen Manski made a pair of saves for Valpo in goal. On Sunday, Casey Pedersen converted a penalty kick at the 37:13 mark to lift the Crusaders to a 1-0 victory over Butler in Indianapolis. Manski made five stops for her fourth shutout of the season.
Scouting Milwaukee: The Panthers, the 10-time defending Horizon League champion, had their four-match win streak snapped last Friday with a 4-3 overtime setback at Texas. Milwaukee has played seven straight matches on the road and 11 of its 12 total contests have been away from home. Sarah Hagan, the reigning three-time Horizon League Player of the Week, leads the Panthers offensively with 23 points on nine goals and five assists. Keara Thompson has added four goals and 10 points. In goal, Leslie Deebach has a 1.25 goals against average and a .780 save percentage.
Scouting Green Bay: Every match the Phoenix have been involved in this season has been a shutout one way or another, with Green Bay posting two clean sheet wins and suffering six shutout defeats. The team’s two draws have both been scoreless this year as well. Green Bay has dropped five straight matches, all by a 1-0 score, entering Friday’s contest against Butler. The Phoenix have been idle since a September 26 loss at Youngstown State. Megan Braatz leads the Green Bay offensive with six points on two goals and two assists. Maddie Drusch has posted a 0.59 goals against average and a .902 save percentage in goal this season.
Taking Care of Business in the Hoosier State: Valpo has posted a 3-0-2 record against opponents from the state of Indiana already this season after the win against Butler on Sunday. In addition to the Bulldogs, the Crusaders have defeated IPFW and IUPUI while battling to draws with both Evansville and Indiana State.
Scoring First a Key to Success: Valpo is 4-0-1 on the season when scoring the first goal of the match. The Crusaders have also capitalized on halftime advantages, and are a perfect 4-0 on the year when leading at the break.
Pedersen Moves into Share of Scoring Lead: Casey Pedersen’s third goal of the season against Butler proved to be her first match-winner as a Crusader. She also moved into a share of the team’s scoring lead with Luisa Desario, as both have eight points with three goals and two assists.
Converting Penalty Kicks: Casey Pedersen converted her second penalty kick of the season into Valpo’s lone goal on Sunday. The Crusaders have now converted five straight penalty kicks, with Valpo’s last failed attempt coming on October 8, 2006 when Liberty Ziegahn’s attempt was saved against Lewis. Pedersen is also the first Crusader since 2005 to convert more than one penalty kick in a season, when Emily King made three attempts.
Balanced Halves: The first and second halves of games appear to be very similar for the Brown and Gold. Valpo has scored six times in the first half this season while tallying eight goals in the second stanza. Defensively, the Crusaders have allowed seven goals during both the first and second 45 minutes of the match. The opponents other goal came during the second overtime period.
Nearing the All-Time Charts: Luisa Desario has nine career goals, just two shy of moving into the top-10 all-time at Valpo. Rachel Hoaglin is one tally behind Desario with eight goals as both players move through their sophomore seasons. Desario is also tied for ninth all-time with four career match-winning goals. Her 23 career points also rank just three points outside of the top-10 in the all-time charts.
Roos and Melhorn Go Over 50 Straight Starts: Junior Tracy Roos has started all 53 matches during her career at Valpo. Sarah Melhorn also has an impressive streak of her own, having started the last 51 straight matches dating back to the 2008 campaign.
And When They Start They Finish: In addition to starting every match this season, Tracy Roos and Sarah Melhorn have also stayed on the field for all 1,243 minutes this season. Goalkeeper Kristen Manski has joined them in playing every minute.
Looking to Continue the Winning Tradition: Valparaiso enters the 2010 season having posted six consecutive winning seasons following last year’s 11-9-1 record overall. Last year also marked the sixth 10-win season in program laurels, all of which have come during the last six years.
On the Shutout Charts: Freshman netminder Kristen Manski registered her fourth shutout of the season Sunday against Butler, and is now tied for seventh with Rose Holtkamp (2001) on the single season charts. In fact, her four clean sheets also rank her fifth alone on the career lists, one behind Holtkamp (1998-2002) for fourth.
Manski Moving Up Other Charts as Well: Kristin Manski already ranks 10th all-time in a Crusader goalkeeper uniform having appeared in 13 matches, as well as 1,243 total minutes. In addition, after surpassing 1,200 minutes on the season, she now qualifies for the single season goals against average charts. Her current 1.09 GAA ranks third on the single season list.
She Shoots, She Scores: Luisa Desario is third in the Horizon League with 33 shot attempts this season. The sophomore now has fired off 94 total shots since arriving on campus last season, and ranks eighth on the career charts at Valpo, having just past Erin Crowgey (1997-2000). Desario trails Allison Swanson (2002-2005) by nine shot attempts for seventh on the career list. Desario had nine shots at Evansville on Aug. 29, still a season high this year for any Horizon League player.
Crusaders Picked Third in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish third in the Horizon League this season according to the preseason poll. The Crusaders finished third in the regular season a year ago before advancing to the tournament championship match.
This and That: Every Crusader field player with the exception of Katie Gratzianna has fired at least one shot attempt this season ... Sarah Melhorn leads all active players having played 5,782 career minutes ... with 168 minutes played this weekend, Tracy Roos will reach the 5,000 minutes played mark, second most among active players.