Valparaiso (1-0-1, 0-0-0 MVC)
Friday, Aug. 24 - Toledo (0-1-1, 0-0-0 MAC) - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 26 - Purdue Fort Wayne (0-1-1, 0-0-0 Summit) - 4 p.m.
This Week in Crusader Soccer: The Valparaiso University women’s soccer team kicks off a four-match homestand with two contests at Brown Field this weekend, looking to continue its unbeaten start to the 2018 campaign. Valpo hosts Toledo Friday night in the back half of the Futbol at Brown doubleheader with the men’s soccer program, and then closes out the home weekend on Sunday with a late-afternoon matchup against Purdue Fort Wayne.
Previously: Valpo kicked off the 2018 season by posting a pair of results on a 1-0-1 opening weekend. The Crusaders opened the season with a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Green Bay, and then battled Eastern Illinois to a scoreless draw last Sunday.
Looking Ahead: Valpo continues the stretch of four consecutive matches at Brown Field with two more home matches next weekend, hosting Bowling Green on Friday night and Robert Morris (Pa.) on Sunday afternoon.
Following the Crusaders: Both matches this weekend will be broadcast live on ESPN+, ESPN’s director-to-consumer subscription streaming service available through the ESPN app. Links for the live video, as well as live stats for both matches, will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach John Marovich: The 2014 Horizon League Coach of the Year, John Marovich holds an 92-72-28 (.552) record both overall and with Valpo entering his 11th season at the helm of the Brown and Gold. Just the third head coach in program history, Marovich holds Valpo’s all-time records for victories and winning percentage.
Series Notes: Toledo - Valpo is in search of its first victory in the all-time series with the Rockets, as it is currently 0-7-2 in program history versus Toledo, including a 2-0 road defeat last season. Friday marks the first time Valpo has hosted Toledo since the 2003 season.
Purdue Fort Wayne - No matter the name of the opposition, Valpo has dominated the Mastodons over the years to the tune of a 13-2-1 advantage in the all-time series. Previously known as IPFW and Fort Wayne, Purdue Fort Wayne has come out on the losing end against the Crusaders in each of the last 10 matchups, including a 4-1 Valpo victory last season that saw Cory Griffith net a hat trick.
Valpo Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: Valpo has been chosen to finish in sixth place in the MVC preseason poll, as voted on by the conference’s head coaches. The Crusaders totaled 24 points in the preseason polling. Loyola picked up five first-place votes en route to topping the poll, while Missouri State (two first-place votes) and UNI (one first-place vote) were tabbed second and third, respectively.
Looking Back at 2017: Valpo is coming off of a 9-10-0 record in 2017 and posted a 3-4-0 mark in Missouri Valley Conference play, good for a tie for fifth place. Cory Griffith was a First Team All-MVC selection and earned Third Team All-Region honors after matching Valpo’s single-season record with 11 goals scored. Five Valpo players in all received postseason recognition from the MVC, as Sydney Griffin, Kelsey Jahn and Grace Rogers were Honorable Mention All-Conference and Keegan Maris earned a spot on the conference’s All-Freshman Team.
Unbeaten Opening Weekend on the Road: Valpo comes home for the next two weekends after posting a 1-0-1 start on the road last weekend. This season marks just the fourth time in program history that Valpo has started the season with two consecutive road matches (1995, 2015, 2016). It is the first time in those four seasons that the Crusaders have earned results in both matches.
Keep It Rolling: Valpo will be attempting to extend its unbeaten start beyond two matches this weekend for just the third time in program history, as just twice have the Crusaders staved off their first loss past the third match of the season. The 2012 squad went 2-0-1 in its first three matches, while the 2010 team holds the mark for longest unbeaten beginning to a campaign, going 3-0-2 in its first five games before suffering its first defeat.
Familar Turf Awaits: Valpo will kick off a four-match homestand with its town home contests at Brown Field this weekend. It is the Crusaders’ longest stretch of consecutive home matches since the 2008 squad played five straight home games from Sept. 19 through Oct. 3.
Fit to Be Tied: The scoreless draw with Eastern Illinois on Sunday was Valpo’s first tie since a 1-1 tie with Wright State on Sept. 19, 2015. In between that match and Sunday, Valpo had 11 consecutive matches go to extra time and end on a golden goal. Sunday was also Valpo’s first scoreless draw since a 0-0 final against Evansville in a non-conference matchup on Sept. 14, 2014.
Porlier Picks Up Big Goal: Redshirt junior Ava Porlier recorded the key goal in the win at Green Bay, finding the back of the net in the 83rd minute for the match-winner over the Phoenix. For Porlier, the goal was just the third of her Valpo career – her previous two tallies came in the same game in September of 2016 at Western Michigan.
Moulton Posts the Clean Sheet: Senior goalkeeper Drew Moulton needed to make just two saves on Sunday to earn the shutout in goal for Valpo in her first start of the season. The clean sheet was the fifth of her Valpo career, tied for sixth-most in program history.
Iron Woman: Junior Ali Quillen was the only Valpo field player to play all 110 minutes in the scoreless draw at EIU. The junior has not come off the pitch in either of Valpo’s two matches this year so far, and now has gone the distance in 36 of 40 career matches.
Making the Step Up: Valpo faced a giant step up in conference competition last season as it made the move from the Horizon League to the Missouri Valley Conference. The Crusaders jumped from the nation’s 28th-ranked league in 2016 to the nation’s 12th-ranked conference in 2017. The average team RPI in the MVC in 2017 was 85 spots better than the average team RPI in the Horizon League the previous year. This upgrade in competition allowed Valpo to finish the 2017 campaign 57 spots higher in the RPI despite posting the same win-loss record as the previous season.
An Experienced Group: Valpo welcomes back nine of its 11 regular starters from last year’s campaign and 20 letterwinners in all, including players who combined for 26 of the Crusaders’ 28 goals last season and every minute at goalkeeper.