Women's Soccer Returns Home Sunday to Begin Key Closing Stretch
Janine Lytle and Valpo's defense helped pitch a fifth shutout of the season last Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)
Women's Soccer Returns Home Sunday to Begin Key Closing Stretch
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Valparaiso (5-6-4, 1-3-1 Horizon)
Match #16: Sunday, Oct. 17, 1 p.m. CDT
vs. Wright State (7-7, 2-2 Horizon)
Eastgate Field - Valparaiso, Ind.

This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso returns home to Eastgate Field on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders begin their final homestand of the 2010 regular season.  Valpo hosts Wright State this weekend in a pivotal match with regards to the Horizon League standings and qualifying for the conference tournament.

On the Air: Sunday’s match will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com.  Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com for the match as well.

Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich holds a 26-21-8 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 (.545) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories.

Series Notes: Wright State holds a 7-1 all-time advantage in a series that dates back to 1993, the first season of Crusader soccer.  Last year the two schools split a pair of meetings.  The Raiders won the regular season battle 3-0 on September 20 in Dayton, Ohio.  Valpo then posted its first ever triumph over Wright State, 2-1, on November 6 in the Horizon League Tournament semifinals held in Milwaukee, Wis.

Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action: Milwaukee outshot Valpo 21-5 on Friday evening and scored three times in the first half on the way to a 5-0 victory in Wisconsin.  Kristin Manski made three first half saves for the Brown and Gold while Stefanie Matsas also made three stops in her collegiate debut.  On Sunday, Valpo and Green Bay battled for 110 minutes but neither team could find the back of the net as the Crusaders and Phoenix played to a 0-0 draw.  The Crusaders outshot the Phoenix 19-11 but could not crack Maddie Drusch who made six saves for Green Bay.  Manski had two stops for Valpo.

Scouting Wright State:
The Raiders have won four straight matches, including last Sunday against Indiana State, all by 2-1 scores heading into their contest on Friday at Cleveland State.  Brittany Persaud leads the way for Wright State with five goals and five assists for 15 points.  Amber Kasmer has added 14 points (five goals, four assists), and Morgan Butler has four goals for the Raiders.  In goal, Brook McCurdy has played a majority of the minutes, sporting a 1.50 goals against average and a .792 save percentage.

Fit to Be Tied: Valpo’s 0-0 draw at Green Bay on Sunday afternoon marked the Crusaders’ fourth tie of the season already, the most ever in a season by a Crusaders team in program history.  Valpo tied three contests in 2003, 2006 and 2009, and now have 24 total draws in program history.

110 Minutes and No Scoring: The scoreless draw against Green Bay also marked the second 0-0 deadlock by the Crusaders this year.  The only year Valpo had more scoreless draws was 2008, when all three ties came without goals being scored.  Valpo has now played 10 scoreless matches all-time in program history.

Horizon League Tournament Seeding Up for Grabs:
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Crusaders control their own fate with regards to qualifying for the Horizon League Tournament.  The Crusaders currently have four points, with the potential to finish with 13 total.  Valpo is in seventh place, just two points out of the final qualifying spot, and play sixth place Wright State Sunday before finishing next weekend with fifth place Cleveland State and eighth place Youngstown State.

Matsas Makes Collegiate Debut:
Redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Stefanie Matsas made her collegiate debut for the Crusaders last Friday in the second half of the match at Milwaukee.  In 45 minutes of action she made three saves and surrendered a pair of goals.

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.

Converting Penalty Kicks:
Casey Pedersen converted her second penalty kick of the season on October 3 at Butler.  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.

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 Has Played Every Match of Her Career:
Junior Tracy Roos has started all 55 matches during her career at Valpo. In addition to starting every match this season, she has also played all 1,443 minutes, the only Crusader not to have stepped off of the field.

Melhorn’s Streak Comes to an End:  Sarah Melhorn also had an impressive starting streak of her own, having started 51 straight matches dating back to the 2008 campaign until she missed the Milwaukee and Green Bay matches this past weekend due to injury.   She, like Roos, had played every minute of the year prior to having to sit out.

Looking to Continue the Winning Tradition:
Valparaiso entered 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 fifth shutout of the season Sunday against Green Bay, and is now tied for fifth with Amy Cavanaugh (1999) and Erin Murray (2005) on the single season charts.  In fact, her five clean sheets also rank her in a tie with Rose Holtkamp (1998-2002) for fourth on the career shutout list.

Manski Moving Up Other Charts as Well:
Kristin Manski already ranks 10th all-time in a Crusader goalkeeper uniform having appeared in 15 matches, just one appearance shy of matching Jennifer Argianas (1995) for ninth on the career list.  In addition, Manski’s 1398:08 played moves her past Denise Guth (1993-1994) for the eighth most minutes played between the posts.  She also now qualifies for the single season goals against average charts.  Her current 1.16 GAA ranks fourth on the single season list.

She Shoots, She Scores: Luisa Desario is third in the Horizon League with 39 shot attempts this season.  The sophomore now has fired off 100 total shots since arriving on campus last season, and ranks eighth on the career charts.  Desario trails Allison Swanson (2002-2005) by three shot attempts for seventh on the career list.  Desario had nine shots at Evansville on Aug. 29, matching 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: Luisa Desario needs 14 more shot attempts this season to move into the top-10 on the single season charts ... five shutouts on the season as a team are tied for fifth most in a year all-time at Valpo.