Redshirt sophomore Brendan
Roth (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) found the back of the net in
the 98th minute of action at Brown Field on Saturday afternoon, giving
the Valparaiso men’s soccer team a big 3-2 overtime victory in Horizon League
play over league leader Green Bay.
“This was a very important win for us today, one that I
thought we earned against a very good Green
Bay team,” said Crusader head coach
Mike Avery. “You’ve got to give Green Bay a lot of credit
for coming back to tie the game late, but I was very proud of our guys that
they didn’t let the late goal in regulation crush them. Once we got into overtime, for the first time,
we were the team forcing the issue and it paid off with the winning goal.”
The golden goal came on a transition opportunity off of a Green Bay corner, as Rodolfo
Lucas (Mogi Mirim, Brazil/ [Coffeyville C.C.]) gained possession
and started streaking up the right-hand side before the Phoenix Lucas found Roby Del Giudice (Toronto,
Ont./Robert F. Hall [Wallace State C.C.]) in the center of the field just over
the midfield line, who carried for about ten yards before sending it to Roth on
the left side. Roth brought the ball in
to about 15 yards out before unleashing a shot that eluded Phoenix goalkeeper Ryan Wehking and found its
way inside the far post to end the game. could get set back on defense.
The Crusaders took their first lead of the game in the 59th
minute of play, as Del Giudice worked a give-and-go with Steve Shively (Indianapolis,
Ind./North Central) in the center
part of the pitch in the offensive third.
Shively’s pass back to Del Giudice was right on the mark, and the junior
sent a strike from 15 yards that found the back of the net to give Valpo a 2-1
lead. The Crusaders held the lead for
over 30 minutes, until Green Bay’s David Znaty took advantage of a free kick
opportunity straight out from 20 yards in the 89th minute to tie the
match at two and send it to the extra session.
“I thought Roby was the man of the match today for us,” said
Avery. “Obviously, he was instrumental
in two of our three goals, and he also made some other very nice plays for us
up front today.”
Znaty opened the scoring for the Phoenix in the 14th
minute, also on a free kick, as the senior found the lower left part of the net
from the right side, about 24 yards out, to put Green Bay on top early
1-0. Valpo would get the equalizier in
the closing minutes of the first half, however, as Chadd Sult (South Bend,
Ind./John Adams) set up Clayton Lyons (Louisville, Ky./Trinity)
in the right corner for a cross into the box.
Lyons’ cross found its way to the head of
freshman Sam Haines (McKinney, Texas/McKinney
Boyd), who headed it home from ten yards out for his first career marker.
(10-2-2, 4-2-0 Horizon) outshot the Crusaders 18-11 on the day, but Valpo held
a 4-2 advantage in the category during the overtime session. The Phoenix
also put eight shots on frame to Valpo’s four.
Ryan Schwarz (Rockford, Ill./Boylan
Catholic) made six saves in net for the Crusaders, while Wehking stopped one
shot for Green Bay. It was a physical battle as well, with 47
total fouls called, 24 on Valpo and 23 on Green
“We’ve really been focusing all week on two areas of our
game,” concluded Avery. “The first was
how to better handle teams that are dangerous on set pieces into the box, and I
thought we handled Green Bay’s
corners and deep throw-ins pretty effectively.
The other was getting forward on the counter with dangerous
opportunities, and obviously we were very good at that today.”
Valparaiso (6-6-1, 2-2-1 Horizon) sits in fourth place in
the league standings with seven points after Saturday’s victory. Valpo starts on a three-game road trip with a
step out of league play on Tuesday, as the Crusaders travel to Fort Wayne to take on IPFW. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT, and live
stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com.