Stivers (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) scored a pair of goals, including the
eventual match-winner midway through the first half, while Adrian Ortiz (Berwyn, Ill./Morton West) and Guy Shabtay (Ramat-Gan, Israel/Blich [Prairie State C.C.]) both
registered goals as well as Valparaiso defeated Western Michigan, 4-0, in
non-league action Wednesday night at Brown Field.
The four goals marked a season high for the
Crusader side, while the four-goal margin of victory was also a season
best. The last time Valpo tallied four
goals and won a game by at least four goals came in Horizon League quarterfinal
action last year at Brown Field, when the Crusaders downed Milwaukee by an
identical 4-0 count.
“Obviously, when you score goals, it takes the
pressure off your goalkeepers and the back, and we were able to do that
tonight,” said Crusader head coach Mike
Avery. “It was key today to get that
first goal relatively early in the game, and then to add on with three goals in
the second half was key as well.”
Western Michigan’s best chance to crack the
scoreboard came early on, as in the ninth minute, David Fuller’s header off a
corner kick went just right of the goal frame.
After a period of time with few chances for either side, Stivers finally
cracked the scoring column in the 27th minute. Valpo played a ball in the air into its
offensive end that was headed by a WMU defender directly to the feet of
Stivers. Bronco goalkeeper Cody Camp came
off his line to attempt to cut down Stivers’ angle, but the senior calmly chipped
the ball over Camp’s head from 25 yards for the game’s first goal.
Ortiz added an insurance tally in the 66th
minute for his third career goal. Fellow
senior Jake Freisinger (Saint John,
Ind./Lake Central) played him into the center of the field, and Ortiz carried
it forward up the middle to about 25 yards out.
He then ripped a shot low to the turf that found its way inside the left
post to give the Crusaders a 2-0 edge.
Stivers added his second marker of the fixture in
the 73rd minute, as Chadd
Sult (South Bend, Ind./John Adams) and Roby
Del Giudice (Toronto, Ont./Robert F. Hall [Wallace State C.C.]) combined to
get the ball to Stivers on a breakaway. Left
1-v-1, the senior easily beat Bronco relief goalkeeper Sean Lewis for his first
career multi-goal game. The latter goal
also was Stivers’ sixth of the 2010 campaign, matching his output from a year
It was the Crusaders’ Israeli connection that
closed the scoring just 1:06 after Stivers’ second goal. Lior
Avisror (Yehud, Israel/Mekif Yehud [Prairie State C.C.]) led Shabtay into
the box, and Shabtay found himself 1-v-1 with Lewis. The junior chipped the ball over Lewis’ head
into the top-left corner of the frame from 10 yards out for his third goal of
Ryan Schwarz (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) got the start in
goal for the Crusaders and faced little pressure all night long, having to make
just two saves in 78 minutes of action. Kyle Zobeck (Coralville, Iowa/Iowa City
West) entered late for Schwarz and played the final 12 minutes without having
to make a stop. Camp and Lewis each made
one save in a half of play in goal for Western Michigan (7-5-2). The substitution in goal was one of just many
the Crusaders made, as Valpo got 23 guys a run in on Wednesday night.
“We’ve been telling our guys that we’re not as good
as our record at the start of the year, but that we’re not as bad as our record
would indicate over our last five games either,” said Avery. “As a team, we just have to be mature and
stay focused, do things the right way and hope the results start to fall in our
direction. I hope tonight’s result is a
sign of a turnaround for our team. It’s
definitely a great momentum builder heading into a huge game Saturday night at
(7-6-2) starts down the home stretch of the regular season Saturday night with
a key Horizon League showdown at Green Bay.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and all the action can be heard live on WVUR,
95.1 FM and online at www.valpoathletics.com,
which will also have a link for live stats.
Live video for the match is available as well for a fee through the
Green Bay website.