This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso takes to the road for the first time during the 2008 season as the Crusaders head west to Colorado for a pair of matches. On Friday, the Brown and Gold will face Colorado College before visiting the United States Air Force Academy on Sunday afternoon.
On the Air: Friday’s match will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpoathletics.com. Sunday’s contest can be heard online as well, at www.sportsjuice.com. Valparaiso University students will be providing both the play-by-play and color commentary.
Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich is 1-0 in his first season overall and with the Crusaders after serving as an assistant for six years.
Series Notes: Valparaiso has never met Colorado College or Air Force in women’s soccer action in the program’s history.
Scouting Colorado College: The Tigers are coming off of a season-opening victory against Oklahoma 3-1 last Friday afternoon and are in the midst of seven-match homestand to open the 2008 season. Emily Beans and Sydney Fetter each scored once for Colorado College, and the Tigers were also aided by an own goal while outshooting the Sooners 16-3. The Tigers return 17 letterwinners from last year’s squad which went 10-6-3 overall and tied for fourth in Conference USA. This year, Colorado College has been picked to finish third in the league.
Scouting Air Force: The Falcons opened their season on Sunday dropping a 2-1 overtime match at Northern Colorado. Meagan Eissele scored Air Force’s lone goal with under 15 minutes remaining in regulation to force the extra session. The Falcons return 15 letterwinners from last year’s team that went 2-14-2 overall and finished eighth in the Mountain West Conference. Air Force hosts Idaho State on Friday before entertaining Valpo.
Wrapping Up Ball State: Jackie Kondratko scored on a failed clearing attempt with just under 20 minutes to play in regulation on Friday afternoon as the Crusaders defeated the Cardinals 1-0 at Eastgate Field in the season opener for both schools. Valpo outshot Ball State 7-5 for the match and Mele Cabral made four saves to earn her third career shutout.
Marovich Opens Career with a Victory: John Marovich became the first Crusader head coach in the history of the women’s soccer program to win in his debut with the 1-0 victory over Ball State. Marovich is the third coach in Valpo history.
Recent Success in Openers: With the win over Ball State, Valpo has now won four straight season openers and improves to 4-12 all-time in openers over 16 seasons.
Cabral Moves Up Shutouts Chart: With the shutout in the season opener, Mele Cabral now has three career clean sheets, moving her into a tie for fourth place on Valpo’s career list.
Cabral Shutout Streak Approaches 400 Minutes: Mele Cabral has not given up a goal in her last 381:47 of action dating back to October 8, 2006 against Lewis. The junior did not surrender a goal in 2007 and has recorded three straight shutouts in matches she has started and completed.
Trio Among Top Scorers All-Time: Kendall Brown ranks in a tie for third place all-time at Valpo with 18 career goals. Her 44 career points also rank third on the Crusader career list. Lori Johnson is sixth in school history with 12 goals and seventh with 31 points while Sarah Jewell is tied for seventh with 11 goals and eighth with 27 points.
Newcomers Make Valpo Debuts: Tracy Roos, Brooke Henderson, Laura Romberg, and Erin Suckling made their Crusader debuts in the opener against Ball State. Roos drew a starting assignment on defense in her first match with the Brown and Gold.
Valpo Picked Fifth in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in a tie for fifth place in the Horizon League according to the preseason poll conducted of the league’s head coaches.