Valparaiso (1-1-1, 0-0-0 MVC)
Friday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m. CT – at SMU (4-0-0, 0-0-0 American)
Sunday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m. CT – at Oral Roberts (3-1-0, 0-0-0 Summit)
This Week in Valpo Soccer: The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team will continue a challenging stretch of four straight games away from Brown Field this weekend by visiting SMU and Oral Roberts. This starts a tough road trip that sees the team play three games in six days in three different states – Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. These will also mark the final nonconference tune-ups prior to the Missouri Valley Conference opener at Missouri State.
Previously: Valpo incurred its first loss of the season on Friday, Sept. 6, falling 5-1 to three-time defending Horizon League champion UIC, a team that has now won 14 straight at Flames Field. UIC jumped on the board in the first minute and had four goals in the first 28 minutes including a Bar Hazut hat trick and a pair of goals in a 22-second span. After UIC controlled most of the possession in the opening half, the two sides played quite even over the final 45 minutes, a stretch that saw each team notch one goal. Valpo’s tally came courtesy of Mason Marcey with Ryan Madondo and Jonas Engler receiving assists.
Following Valpo: Live video and stats will be provided for each of this weekend’s fixtures courtesy of the host institutions. SMU’s Ponyup TV will broadcast Friday’s match, while Sunday’s will be shown on ORU’s Stretch Internet.
Head Coach Mike Avery: In his 13th season at the helm of the Valpo men’s soccer program, Mike Avery owns a program-record 88 career victories. Under Avery's guidance, the team has been a stellar defensive side, as nine of the top 10 defensive seasons in program history have come during his tenure. Avery has led the program to a new standard in his time as head coach, as a team that had enjoyed just one winning season in the 24 years prior to his arrival has finished above the .500 mark six times in the last decade. He has also seen numerous players go on to play professional soccer, including active pros Zev Taublieb, Kyle Zobeck, Stefan Antonijevic, Jordan Aidoud, Rafael Mentzingen, Nacho Miras, Ramone Howell, Matthew King, Jordan Simon, Hamid Babaali and Lucca Lacerda. Avery shattered the program record with his 77th career victory on Sept. 16, 2017 at Drake. He reached 77 victories in his 195th career match, while previous recordholder Mis’ Mrak needed 288 matches to accumulate 76 wins.
Scoring Streak: Valpo junior Mason Marcey has started the season on a scoring streak as he has registered goals in each of the team's first three games. With his goal in Friday's match at UIC, Marcey became the first Valpo player to score in each of the first three games of a season since D.J. Catrow did so in 2005 against Buffalo, Canisius and Butler.
Strong Starts: Valpo has two players with three goals and seven points over the first three games of the season in Mason Marcey and Cole Rainwater. Before this year, Isaiah Madrid in 2016 was the only Valpo player since 2006 to reach three goals or seven points in the season's first three fixtures. This is the first time since at least 1987 that two Valpo players have had three goals or more just three matches into a season.
Goalkeeping Trio: Valpo has used three players at the goalkeeper position over the first three games of the season with Edvin Holst, Jorn-Jan van de Beld and Danny Salazar all seeing action. Before this season, Valpo hadn’t utilized more than one goalkeeper over the first three matches of a year since 2012 and hadn't played three keepers in the first three games in over 20 years.
Series Notes – SMU: This will mark the first meeting between the two sides.
Series Notes – Oral Roberts: Valpo holds a 3-8-3 all-time record against the Golden Eagles in a series that began in 1996. Oral Roberts came to Brown Field and prevailed 4-1 a year ago. Last year was the first meeting between the two teams since 2011 and Valpo is seeking its first win over Oral Roberts since a 2-0 triumph on Sept. 15, 2006 in Mid-Continent Conference action. The last time Valpo made its way to Tulsa was Oct. 15, 2005, a 5-3 defeat. Valpo is 1-4 all-time at Oral Roberts and has lost four in a row since a double-overtime 2-0 win on Nov. 2, 1996. These teams shared Mid-Con affiliation from 1996-2006.
Scouting the Opponent – SMU: The Mustangs went 10-5-3 overall in 2018 including a 5-1-1 mark in the American Athletic Conference. The team is receiving votes in national polls and is ranked as high as 16th nationally by Top Drawer Soccer. SMU played in the NCAA Tournament after winning the American tournament last year. This will mark Valpo’s second straight match against an NCAA Tournament team from last season. SMU was picked second in the AAC preseason poll behind UCF, while defender Talen Maples earned preseason all-conference honors. The Mustangs started the season with a 3-0 win over Lipscomb, a team that was receiving votes nationally, before topping Houston Baptist 7-1, Saint Louis 2-0 and UC Riverside 1-0.
Scouting the Opponent – Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles have already flexed their muscles against Missouri Valley Conference competition this season, topping Drake 4-1 on an opening weekend that also featured a 2-1 victory over Kansas City. In its most recent fixture, Oral Roberts topped California Baptist 1-0 on Sunday. The team went 6-7-3 a year ago and was picked fourth of six in this year’s Summit League Preseason Poll. Junior Chavez was tabbed as ORU’s Player to Watch after he had six goals and four assists last season, earning Second Team All-Summit honors. Chavez scored the first goal of the match at Brown Field last season.
Making It Rain: Cole Rainwater had seven points in an 8-2 victory over IU Northwest on Sept. 2, becoming the first player in Mike Avery’s 13-year coaching tenure to turn in seven points in a match for Valpo. The last player to do so was Paul Leitelt on Aug. 27, 2006 vs. Evansville. Rainwater was the fifth player in program history with a seven-point performance and the 10th to turn a hat trick. Valpo’s last seven hat tricks have all been scored by players in their first or second year in the program. His hat trick was Valpo’s third in the last four years (Kendan Anderson and Adan Garcia) after the team had gone a decade between hat tricks prior to Anderson’s in 2016. For his efforts, Rainwater was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Sept. 3.
Strong Beginnings: Valpo debuted its new Brown Field turf by equaling a program record for goals in a game on Labor Day, downing IU Northwest 8-2 in the home opener. Valpo matched the team watermark of eight goals that was established on Aug. 26, 2011 against Calumet and had stood alone ever since. The Sept. 2 game against the RedHawks was the sixth time in program history Valpo prevailed by six goals or more and the first time the team had a margin of victory that large since the aforementioned 2011 game against Calumet.
Immediate Overtime: In a 1-1 draw at Green Bay on Aug. 30, Valpo went to overtime in the season opener for the fourth year in a row and the seventh time in the last eight years. It marked the fourth time in that span and the first since 2014 that the team started the season with a draw.
Dandy Debut: Freshman Edvin Holst helped Valpo to a 1-1 draw in the season opener on Friday, Aug. 30 at Green Bay by grabbing eight saves in his collegiate debut. He played all 110 minutes in goal and tied the most saves by any Valpo goalkeeper since Nico Campbell had nine on Sept. 9, 2014 vs. Butler. Holst’s save total was the highest by a Valpo goalkeeper in his first career start since Marc Cilfone had 10 at Bradley in 2001.
Reloading Time: A large senior class in 2018 has led to a team that features more newcomers (15) than returnees (13) in 2019. The team had 15 players depart from last year’s team, including dynamic strikers Rafael Mentzingen and Lucca Lacerda, who have both gone on to play professionally. Speaking of playing professionally, goalkeeper Nacho Miras made the decision to forgo his redshirt senior season when he had the opportunity to graduate on time and join the long list of Valpo alums who have reached the pro ranks.
A Reason to be Rosy: Although the roster saw significant turnover due to a large graduating class, the cupboard is far from bare for Mike Avery’s team. Headlining the group of returning players is fifth-year senior Demar Rose, a Preseason All-MVC choice this season and one of four Missouri Valley Conference players returning in 2019 after earning first-team all-conference honors in 2018. He didn’t skip a beat after missing the 2017 season with an injury, returning in 2018 to play in all 17 games and make 14 starts in the midfield while scoring one goal and striking 24 shots. He scored a dazzling equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Evansville on Oct. 27, 2018, earning a point in the Valley standings that allowed Valpo to clinch a conference tournament berth.
Senior Standout: Another veteran who has earned numerous honors over his Valpo career is senior midfielder Adan Garcia, who received 2018 MVC Honorable Mention, 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-Region Third Team and 2017 Second-Team All-MVC. He enters his senior year with 10 career goals, eight assists and 28 points, needing one more assist to crack Valpo’s all-time Top 10. He turned in a hat trick on Oct. 12, 2017 at Western Illinois, the ninth in program history and the first in a road match since 1985. Garcia’s name is already in the single-season Valpo record book after he had nine goals and 22 points in 2017, both tied for seventh in program history.
Academic Ace: Dylan Waugaman figures to continue his success both on the field and in the classroom this year. After graduating with a 3.99 grade point average in accounting, the 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-American Second Team honoree has begun a master’s in business administration. The fifth-year senior defender became the first Valpo player to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American honors since Todd Vervynckt in 2013. He also earned CoSIDA Academic All-Region and MVC Scholar-Athlete First-Team recognition as a redshirt junior. Waugaman received the 2018 Bill Steinbrecher Sportsmanship Award, which is given annually to the male student-athlete who best exemplifies integrity and sportsmanship while representing Valparaiso University. He has been nominated for the business school’s distinguished student award, nominated by a faculty member as an influential person on campus and met with University President Mark Heckler to discuss ideas about how to make Valpo a better place. Waugaman was one of three students in the 2018 graduating class who was recognized by President Heckler during the graduation ceremony as a distinguished student. In addition, Waugaman is an accounting tutor, member of NABA, member of Delta Sigma Pi (business honors society) and is involved in numerous community service activities.
The Region’s D1 Team: While the tradition of recruiting far and wide continues for Valpo men’s soccer, the team features a heavy local flavor this season. Five Northwest Indiana natives have joined the squad as freshmen – Danny Salazar (East Chicago, Ind. / Bishop Noll), Jack Eaton (Valparaiso, Ind. / Chesterton), Andy Lomeli (Dyer, Ind. / Lake Central), Cole Rainwater (Schererville, Ind. / Lake Central) and Logan Tatalovich (Valparaiso, Ind. / Boone Grove). Eaton was named the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year and Gatorade Indiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year following his senior season after helping Chesterton to a 21-0-2 mark and 3A state title.
Flying Many Flags: Despite bringing in a large crop of locals, the program has stayed true to its roots of recruiting globally. This year’s team features athletes from 10 countries – The Netherlands, Brazil, France, Jamaica, Japan, Germany, England, Italy, Sweden and the United States.
Working with TOCO: Valpo is once again raising funds for They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) this year. Throughout the 2019 season, the team is working to raise money and awareness for TOCO’s work through sport with at risk children in the Caribbean and United States. This year’s TOCO benefit game will take place on Sept. 25 against Drake at Brown Field.
#oneVALPO: The Valpo men’s soccer program will continue to promote its #oneVALPO campaign, which celebrates diversity, via social and digital media and at its games. For more information, go to the #oneVALPO Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oneVALPO.