Valparaiso (4-2-1, 0-0-0 Horizon)
Four-match road trip starts in Fort Wayne
Sunday, Sept. 16 - 5 p.m. CDT - at IPFW (2-3-0)
This Week in Crusader Soccer: The Valparaiso women’s soccer team begins a stretch of four matches away from home this weekend with a single match, as the Crusaders travel to Fort Wayne on Sunday evening for a matchup against IPFW.
Previously: Valpo out-scored its opposition 5-0 last weekend en route to two home victories. The Crusaders downed Western Michigan at Brown Field on Friday evening, 2-0, before trekking out to Eastgate Field for the first time this season on Sunday, earning a 3-0 win over Bowling Green.
The Road Ahead: Valpo flies out to California next weekend to take on San Francisco (Sept. 21) and Saint Mary’s (Sept. 23). The Horizon League slate then begins on the road on Friday, Sept. 28 at Cleveland State.
Following the Crusaders: This Sunday’s match at IPFW will have live stats available through www.valpoathletics.com.
Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich holds a 38-31-15 record both overall and with Valpo in his fifth season at the helm of the Brown and Gold. Just the third head coach in program history, Marovich has the best winning percentage (.542) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories.
Series Notes: Valpo and IPFW have met 11 times in program history, with the Crusaders holding a distinct 8-2-1 advantage in the all-time series. Valpo’s eight wins include victories in each of the last five matchups, most recently a 4-2 win last season on Brown Field. Brooke Henderson, Luisa Desario, Rachel Hoaglin and Casey Pedersen all scored for the Crusaders in the win, while Rachel DeFrank made one save in goal to earn the win.
Scouting the Opposition: IPFW enters the weekend with a 2-3-0 record in 2012, with a game to be played Friday evening against Miami (Ohio) prior to Sunday’s contest. The Mastodons have been involved in a number of low-scoring affairs, only scoring four goals and allowing just five through their first five games. Sydney Hoareau has scored a pair of goals for IPFW, while Sam Pavlika has played every minute in net.
Crusaders Picked Third in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish in third place in the Horizon League this season according to the preseason poll. Only Detroit and Milwaukee, which shared the top spot in the poll, were projected ahead of the Crusaders.
Looking Back at 2011: Last season’s Crusader squad posted an 8-6-5 record, including a 4-2-2 mark in Horizon League play to finish in third place in the league. Defense was Valpo’s calling card, as the Crusaders surrendered just 19 goals in 19 games, including nine shutouts, just one shy of the program single-season record. The Crusaders finished with a winning record for the seventh time in the last eight years.
Staying Unbeaten at Home: After dropping a pair of road matches, Valpo returned home for two fixtures last weekend and won them both, improving to 4-0-1 at home this season. This marks the longest unbeaten home stretch from season’s start in program history, besting the 2008 squad, which won its first four home games en route to a 7-3-1 home mark on the season.
Manski Earns League Weekly Honors: Junior goalkeeper Kristen Manski was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week last week after posting a pair of shutouts between the pipes. Manski stopped six shots in the win over Western Michigan and made a pair of saves against Bowling Green. Manski, who received weekly honors from the league office from the first time, leads the Horizon League with four shutouts and ranks second with a 0.69 GAA.
Ellis Contributes Offensively: Entering last weekend, junior Tara Ellis had not recorded a point in her Crusader career, but she turned that around in a hurry in the two Valpo wins. Ellis picked up the match-winning goal against Western Michigan on Friday on a direct free kick late in the first half, and then on Sunday, registered a pair of assists off of corner kicks for a four-point weekend. Ellis’ two-assist game was Valpo’s first multi-assist game since Casey Pedersen picked up a pair of helpers against Eastern Michigan on Sept. 10, 2010.
Ludwig Tallies Again: Freshman Sarrah Ludwig picked up her second career goal in the win over Bowling Green on Sunday, and made it a match-winning goal, heading home a ball in the 54th minute for the eventual game-winner. Ludwig also registered a match-tying goal earlier this year in a 1-1 draw with Kent State.
Lytle On the Attack: Senior defender Janine Lytle, who has sat on the bench for just 31 minutes in her career, entered Sunday afternoon with three goals and three assists to her credit through her first three seasons. But Sunday marked the first time Lytle was part of multiple goals in the same game. The senior nodded home an insurance goal with her head off a corner in the 81st minute against BGSU, and picked up an assist when a later header was saved, but the rebound was put away in the 84th minute.
Kenyon Flips It In: Sophomore Abby Kenyon picked up a pair of assists during her rookie season, but had not stepped onto the field in 2012 until the start of the second half against Bowling Green. Kenyon played just 17 minutes against the Falcons, but earned her third career assist on the match-winner, unleashing a flip throw-in into the middle of the area to be headed home.
Desario Picks Up Another Goal: The first Crusader to score multiple goals on the season, senior Luisa Desario found the back of the net for the third time in 2012 with an insurance goal in Friday’s win over Western Michigan. Desario, who picked up the match-winning goal in the season opener against IUPUI and also scored against Iowa, continues her march up the Crusader career charts in a number of categories, as she is now alone in fourth in career points (41), fifth in career goals (17) and tied for fifth in match-winning goals (6).