Valparaiso (0-1-1, 0-0-0 Horizon)
Crusaders head out to Arizona for a pair of matches
Friday, Aug. 29 – 9 p.m. CT – Phoenix, Ariz. – at Grand Canyon (0-2-0)
Sunday, Aug. 31 – 2 p.m. CT – Flagstaff, Ariz. – at Northern Arizona (0-2-0)
This Week in Crusader Soccer: The Valparaiso women’s soccer team continues its non-league schedule this week with its longest road trip of the year, flying out to Arizona for a pair of matches. The Crusaders will face off against Grand Canyon on Friday night – the second straight year the two sides have met – before taking on Northern Arizona on Sunday afternoon.
Previously: Valpo went 0-1-1 on the opening weekend of the season, falling to Belmont on a late goal in the season opener Friday evening, 2-1. The Crusaders responded by earning a result in their Sunday match versus IUPUI, fighting to a scoreless draw with the Jaguars.
Following the Crusaders: Links for live stats for both of this weekend’s matches will be available at ValpoAthletics.com, which will also have a link for live video for Friday night’s match. Over the course of the 2014 season, five matches will have free live video on the Horizon League Network, including four matches at home, while WVUR, Valpo’s student radio station, will also be broadcasting select home matches.
Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich holds a 52-43-21 record both overall and with Valpo entering his seventh season at the helm of the Brown and Gold. Just the third head coach in program history, Marovich has the best winning percentage (.539) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories.
Series Notes: Grand Canyon – Friday’s match will be the second contest in program history between the two sides, with the Crusaders earning a 1-0 victory last year in the first meeting. In that meeting, held at Brown Field, Jordyn Ryfiak scored the match-winner in the 94th minute, a winner which came after midnight as the start of the game was delayed over three hours.
Northern Arizona – This will also be the second all-time meeting for the Crusaders and the Lumberjacks. NAU took home the win in the only previous matchup, downing Valpo in Cedar City, Utah on Oct. 3, 2003 by a 5-1 final.
Scouting the Opposition: Grand Canyon – In their second season as a Division I program, the Antelopes lost a pair of games last weekend, falling 3-0 to UC Riverside and 3-2 (ot) at UNLV. GCU went 5-12-1 last season, with leading goal scorer Cassie Beckwith (4g) back for 2014.
Northern Arizona – The Lumberjacks also went 0-2 on opening weekend, falling to the same teams as GCU – losing 2-1 at UNLV and 4-2 to UC Riverside. Northern Arizona went 11-5-3 last season, including a 7-2-0 mark in Big Sky play, and returns its two leading goal scorers in Cierra Gamble and Haley Wingender, who netted five goals apiece.
Crusaders Picked Fifth in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish in fifth place in the Horizon League this season according to the preseason poll. Milwaukee was picked to capture the league title, with Oakland and Wright State right behind the Panthers.
Looking Back at 2013: Last season’s Crusader squad posted an 8-7-3 record, their ninth winning campaign in the last ten years. Included among the eight victories were a season-opening win over DePaul – the program’s first-ever win over a major conference program – and a victory over Northwestern – the Crusaders’ first against a Big Ten opponent. Valpo continued its tradition of being a strong defensive side, surrendering just 15 goals in the 18 games. Ten different players scored goals for the Crusaders, with 16 players in all tallying points.
Roster Breakdown: This year’s Crusader squad brings back 19 players from last season’s roster, 16 of which saw action last year and seven of whom were regular starters. In addition, six newcomers – two transfers and four freshmen – join the fray as well.
One Week, One Award: Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Galvez-Daley earned the Horizon League’s first Defensive Player of the Week award earlier this week. Making her first collegiate appearances last weekend, Galvez-Daley posted a shutout of IUPUI on Sunday, making four saves in the scoreless draw. The clean sheet was the only by a league goalkeeper in the first weekend of action, while her 0.90 GAA for the weekend was also the league’s best.
Ludwig Finds the Net: Junior Sarrah Ludwig knocked home the Crusaders’ first goal of the season in their season opener against Belmont midway through the second half off a corner kick. For Ludwig, it was the fifth goal of her career, three of which have been match-winning tallies.
Newcomers Contributing: Beyond Galvez-Daley, Valpo had a number of newcomers to the field contribute on opening weekend. Freshman defender Grace Rogers was the only player other than Galvez-Daley to play all 200 minutes over the two matches. Transfers Kaylee Draper (152 minutes) and Vanesa Abad (102 minutes) also earned starting nods on opening weekend, while sophomore Taylor Colliau and freshmen Lily Chetosky and Sydney Gountounas all saw action as well.
Pair to Watch: The Horizon League released a preseason list of Players to Watch leading into the 2014 regular season, and Valpo was represented by a pair of players. Senior midfielder Kelsey Draper, a Second Team All-League selection a year ago, and freshman defender Grace Rogers, an Honorable Mention All-State choice at Woodbury [Minn.] H.S., were the two Crusaders on the list.