The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team allowed two second-half goals in a 2-0 loss to Horizon League regular season champion Wright State on Friday night at Brown Field. By virtue of Milwaukee’s dramatic 1-0 win over Cleveland State, which came on a 90th minute goal, the Crusaders have secured a spot in the Horizon League Tournament and will play at Milwaukee in the first round on Monday.
How It Happened
- The Raiders notched an early shot on goal, but Nico Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica / St. George’s College) stopped an AJ Paterson attempt in the second minute. That stood as the only shot on goal of the match until the 23rd minute, when a Steffen Pulinx header was stopped by Wright State goalkeeper Joel Sundell.
- The Pulinx attempt remained the only shot on goal for the Crusaders in the first half. The Raiders did rip off two more shots on goal, necessitating three total first-half saves by Campbell to keep it scoreless through 45 minutes.
- Campbell made saves on the first five Wright State shots on goal, but the sixth resulted in a goal in the 58th minute. Eric Lynch shot from 30 yards out and sneaked it past the keeper, hitting the lower back of the net. Peguy Ngatcha received credit for the assist.
- The Crusaders had a chance to equalize in the 83rd minute off a corner kick, but Wright State goalkeeper Joel Sundell made a diving save on Omar Lawrence’s shot on goal. The Crusaders continued to threaten in the 84th minute, but two shots were blocked in a 30 second span.
- Jackson Dietrich allowed the Raiders to pull away in the 87th minute, scoring on an assist by Eric Lynch. Dietrich shot from 30 yards out and put it past an outstretched Campbell.
Inside the Match
- Campbell finished with seven saves, his highest total of the season. The last time he had more than six was a 1-1 tie with Belmont on Oct. 24, 2015, when Campbell made eight saves in 110 minutes.
- Eight of Valpo’s 11 corner kicks came in the final 8:05 of the match.
- The Raiders outshot the Crusaders 20-15 and placed nine shots on goal. Valpo finished with just three shots on goal.
- Kendan Anderson fired off six shots, the most of any Crusader.
- After the match ended, Valpo needed anything other than a draw between Milwaukee and Cleveland State to reach the conference tournament. Milwaukee’s Evan Dujardin scored at 89:35 to allow the Crusaders to claim a spot in the tournament.
The Crusaders (10-5-3, 4-3-2) turn their attention to the Horizon League Tournament for a first-round road fixture with Milwaukee (8-7-2, 5-3-1) at 7 p.m. Central Time. Links to live coverage will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.