Valparaiso (1-2-1, 0-0-0 MVC)
Friday, Aug. 31 - Bowling Green (1-1-1) - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 2 - Robert Morris [Pa.] (1-3-0) - 1 p.m.
This Week in Crusader Soccer: The Valparaiso University women’s soccer team stays at home for a second straight weekend, hosting two more matches in a three-day span. Valpo welcomes Bowling Green to Brown Field on Friday before taking on Robert Morris (Pa.) on Sunday afternoon. The latter game will serve as the program’s Senior Day, as Valpo recognizes its senior class prior to the contest.
Previously: Valpo dropped its first two home matches of the season last weekend, falling 2-0 to Toledo and, following a pregame weather delay of nearly two hours, 2-1 to Purdue Fort Wayne.
Looking Ahead: Valpo heads down to Tennessee for a pair of matches next weekend. The Crusaders face Middle Tennessee State on Friday, Sept. 7 and then take on Belmont on Sunday, Sept. 9.
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 92-74-28 (.546) 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: Bowling Green - Valpo enters Friday night’s game with a 2-4-1 record all-time against BGSU, including a 1-1-1 mark against the Falcons at home. The last matchup between the two sides came on the opening weekend of the 2016 campaign - a matchup Bowling Green took by a 1-0 final.
Robert Morris (Pa.) - First meeting.
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.
Celebrating the Seniors: Valpo will recognize the nine members of its senior class prior to Sunday’s contest against Robert Morris. Tess Barrett, Cory Griffith, Kelsey Jahn, Drew Moulton, Natalia Kontul, Caitlyn Oliver, Ava Porlier and Eva Schneider all joined the Valpo program as freshmen for the 2015 season, while Sydney Griffin joined the class when she transferred in prior to last season.
Senior Day Streak: While it might seem odd to be holding Senior Day so early in the season, head coach John Marovich made the call to move Senior Day to the final home non-conference game on a weekend prior to the 2013 season. Since that move, Valpo is a perfect 5-0-0 when celebrating Senior Day, including a 1-0 blanking of Belmont last season on Sept. 3.
Trying to Snap a Streak: With two more home games at Brown Field this weekend, Valpo will be looking to snap a five-match home losing streak dating back to last season - the program’s longest skid at home since a seven-game losing streak spanning the 2002 and 2003 seasons. The current five-match home losing streak immediately followed a five-match winning streak at Brown Field.
Familiar Turf: Valpo will close out its four-match homestand with its two 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.
Griffith Moves Up Charts: With her penalty kick goal against Purdue Fort Wayne, senior Cory Griffith broke a tie for third place in program history in career goals with her 22nd career tally, just three shy of second position. She also became the fifth player in program history to record 50 career points on the goal as well.
Fit to Be Tied: The scoreless draw with Eastern Illinois on Aug. 19 was Valpo’s first tie since a 1-1 tie with Wright State on Sept. 19, 2015. In between that match and the EIU match, Valpo had 11 consecutive matches go to extra time and end on a golden goal. The tie against EIU was also Valpo’s first scoreless draw since a 0-0 final against Evansville in a non-conference matchup on Sept. 14, 2014.
Iron Woman: Junior Ali Quillen was the only Valpo field player to play all 110 minutes in the scoreless draw at EIU, and has now gone the distance in all four of the Crusaders’ matches this season, playing 380 minutes. Quillen has now gone the distance in 38 of 42 career matches and is currently on a streak of 1,017 consecutive minutes played.
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.