Valparaiso (2-4-1, 1-1-0 MVC)
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m. CT – vs. Drake (4-3-0, 1-0-0 MVC)
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. CT – at Bradley (1-3-2, 0-1-0 MVC)
This Week in Valpo Soccer: The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team will look to make it back-to-back wins on Wednesday as Drake comes to town for a Missouri Valley Conference match. After attempting to secure its second home win of the week against the Bulldogs, Valpo will embark on another four-game road trip that begins with a Sunday showdown at Bradley. The home match on Wednesday is the program’s annual They Often Cry Outreach Benefit, a night dedicated to raising funds and awareness for TOCO’s work through sport with at-risk children in the Caribbean and the United States.
Previously: After having dropped four straight matches on an extremely challenging road trip and having permitted an own goal in the first half, it would have been easy for Valpo to come out lifeless after halftime on Sunday afternoon against Evansville. However, the Brown & Gold responded in a positive manner, utilizing a pair of quick strikes in the 77th (Dylan Waugaman) and 81st (Adan Garcia) minutes to beat the Purple Aces 2-1. Edvin Holst made six saves in the game.
Following Valpo: Wednesday’s match will be broadcast on ESPN+ with Ben Ariano (play-by-play) and Dave Huseman (color commentary) teaming up to describe the action. The Sunday matinee will air on ESPN3. Live video and stat links for both contests will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Mike Avery: In his 13th season at the helm of the Valpo men’s soccer program, Mike Avery owns a program-record 89 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.
Scary Schedule: Although Valpo did not get the results it was hoping for on a recent four-game road trip, the level of competition faced during the journey was fierce. SMU was ranked as high as 16th at the time of the meeting and has now vaulted into the Top 10 in most national polls. Missouri State is also receiving votes nationally and is a fridge Top 25 side. The combined records of SMU, Missouri State, UIC and Oral Roberts at the time of the meetings with Valpo was 21-2-0.
Comeback Kids: Valpo faced a 1-0 deficit as late as the 77th minute on Sunday afternoon against Evansville, but a pair of quick strikes from Dylan Waugaman and Adan Garcia helped Valpo to a 2-1 victory over the Purple Aces. Valpo won after allowing the first goal of the match for the first time since last October, when the team came from 1-0 down to beat Eastern Illinois with two second-half tallies. However, this was the first time in Mike Avery's 13-year head coaching tenure that his side was trailing as late as the 77th minute and found a way to win in regulation.
Garcia Goal Count: By finding the net for the first time this season on Sunday against Evansville, senior Adan Garcia lifted his career goal total to 11, the most among active Valpo players. He also has eight career assists for a total of 30 points during his four-year tenure. His next assist will allow him to crack the program's career Top 10 in that category.
Defending Home Turf: Valpo is 2-0-0 at home this season and now owns a five-game unbeaten streak at Brown Field. Dating back to the final three home games of last year, Valpo is 3-0-2 in its most recent home action. The program didn’t lose over a stretch of seven consecutive home games spanning the 2015 and 2016 seasons, going 5-0-2 during that run of Brown Field success.
Series Notes – Drake: Entering this week’s match, Valpo is 2-4-1 in an all-time series with Drake that goes back to 1995. This marks a rematch of an MVC Tournament opener that saw Valpo’s 2018 season end on a golden goal by Steven Enna in the 105th minute to propel Drake to a 2-1 victory. The two teams had played twice in a row with Valpo winning 1-0 behind a Mason Marcey goal in the 30th minute of the regular season finale at Brown Field. The Bulldogs have ended Valpo’s season two years in a row, doing so with a 4-2 victory in 2018. But Valpo is unblemished in the regular season meetings with Drake since joining the Valley, as the Brown & Gold rallied from 2-0 down for a 3-2 win on Sept. 16, 2017, the victory that made Mike Avery the winningest coach in program history.
Scouting the Opposition – Drake: The Bulldogs opened Missouri Valley Conference play on a winning note on Saturday, topping Bradley 2-0 with Austin Smythe and Leroy Ensuguzi scoring goals. Ensuguzi leads the team with three goals on the year, while six others have a goal apiece. Goalkeeper Luke Anderson has started all seven matches and owns a 1.71 GAA with 13 saves. Enzuguzi, senior goalkeeper Jared Brown and Cole Poppen made Drake one of two teams (Missouri State) with three players on the Preseason All-MVC team. The Bulldogs were picked to finish third behind Loyola and Missouri State. The only common opponent between Drake and Valpo thus far on the season is Oral Roberts, a team that beat Drake 4-1 and Valpo 2-1. The Bulldogs are guided by head coach Gareth Smith, who took over the program in 2015.
Series Notes – Bradley: Valpo is 6-8 all-time against the Braves in a matchup that began in 1989. The two teams have split the two meetings since the Brown & Gold joined The Valley after Valpo won 2-0 in Peoria last year with Lucca Lacerda enjoying a brace on his way to national Player of the Week honors. Valpo has won three of the last four fixtures against Bradley including a neutral-site win over a nationally-ranked Braves side in 2008.
Scouting the Opposition – Bradley: Bradley’s lone win on the year came against IUPUI, but the team has also earned draws against Belmont and Oakland. Bradley will play at Loyola Soccer Park in Chicago on Wednesday night before hosting Valpo on Sunday. The Braves dropped their MVC opener 2-0 to Drake. Gerit Wintermeyer has two of the team’s four goals on the year, while Nathan Wisbey has played five of the six games in goal and owns an 0.92 GAA to go along with nine saves. Veteran head coach Jim DeRose has spent 23 years in charge of the program and owns four MVC regular season titles and three tournament crowns. Bradley was picked fourth in the preseason with Wintermeyer earning a preseason all-conference nod.
Good in Goal: Just three appearances into his collegiate career, freshman goalkeeper Edvin Holst had already enjoyed a pair of eight-save efforts. The last time a Valpo goalkeeper had more than eight saves in a match was Sept. 9, 2014, when Nico Campbell stopped nine shots on goal vs. Butler. Holst is up to 29 saves to lead the Missouri Valley Conference.
Balanced Effort: Valpo is up to nine players who have scored goals this season and over the last two years, 18 different players have registered goals. It’s been a balanced Valpo attack this season with the 14 goals spread over nine players this year.
Late Heroics: Ryan Madondo's game-tying goal at 88:23 on Sept. 15 at Oral Roberts was Valpo's latest goal since Alex Brown put the team up 1-0 at the 89:02 mark on Sept. 7 of last season at Milwaukee. The last time Valpo trailed as late as the 89th minute and got the game to overtime was Sept. 29, 2014, when Nick Suker scored at 89:37 to tie a match with Dayton at two, an eventual 2-2 draw at Brown Field.
Scoring Streak: Valpo junior Mason Marcey started the season on a scoring streak as he registered goals in each of the team’s first three games. With his goal on Sept. 6 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 had 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 was the first time since at least 1987 that two Valpo players have had three goals or more just three matches into a 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.