The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team incurred a 2-0 defeat on Wednesday night at Brown Field, snapping a five-match unbeaten streak on its home turf that dated back to last season. Visiting Drake scored a goal in each half en route to the victory. The team’s annual “They Often Cry Outreach” benefit match was played in front of a large audience on a pleasant early-fall evening in Porter County.
How It Happened
- Valpo weathered an early string of Drake shots, then responded with a shot on goal of its own by Ryan Madondo (Franklin, Tenn. / Franklin Road Academy [East Tennessee State]) in the 10th minute that resulted in a save.
- The Bulldogs (5-3-0, 2-0-0) got the better of play early and capitalized when Austin Smythe beat the keeper to the left side of the net from 15 yards out on a through ball from Leroy Ensuguzi.
- A dangerous Valpo chance off a 28th-minute corner kick was turned away when Dylan Waugaman (Houston, Texas / Friendswood [Oregon State]) saw his header shot saved.
- Valpo controlled possession for much of the final 15 minutes of the opening half, but couldn’t find the equalizer. Anderson squeezed his third save in the 45th minute on a shot by Vukasin Bulatovic (Elmwood Park, Ill. / Elmwood Park).
- Edvin Holst (Stockholm, Sweden / Viktor Ryberg Gynasium Jaraplan) made a lunging stop in the 58th minute, then the follow was saved by a sliding Valpo player to keep it 1-0.
- The lead doubled in the 80th minute when Ensuguzi outran a defender and maneuvered past the keeper to finish from five yards out on a point-blank chance.
Inside the Game
- Valpo raised funds for They Often Cry Outreach in support of the organization’s cause of aiding at-risk children in the Caribbean and the United States on Wednesday night at Brown Field. Head coach Mike Avery offered to personally match donations of up to $1,000.
- Drake outshot Valpo for the game by a narrow margin of 14-12. Holst recorded five saves for the Brown & Gold.
- Demar Rose (Kingston, Jamaica / Wolmer’s Boys School) was credited with three shots to lead the team.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a very good game tonight in front of a great and energetic crowd, and you have to give Drake credit because they played very well tonight. We also had some very good moments and overall, I thought we played pretty well, but a tight contest is separated by critical moments and in those critical moments, Drake was tougher and took advantage. It’s a great lesson for our young guys as long as they are receptive to absorbing it. Valley games are tough, and you need to be ready to compete for every ball for 90 minutes. We will see if we can apply that lesson in a quick turnaround Sunday at Bradley.”
“The best part of the night, though, was clearly the big crowd and the generosity it showed in donating to They Often Cry Outreach. We will be able to send a couple thousand dollars to TOCO, which I know they’ll put to great use.”
Valpo (2-5-1, 1-2-0) will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. with a visit to Peoria, Ill. to take on Bradley. That match starts a stretch of four in a row away from Brown Field. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with links to live video and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.