Valpo Soccer Heads to Boilermaker Challenge Cup This Week
Monday, August 31, 2009
Valpo Soccer Heads to Boilermaker Challenge Cup This Week
Jessie White is nearing the top-10 all-time in assists at Valpo. (Ray Acevedo)

Match #5: Thursday, September 3, 4:30 p.m. CDT
Valpo (1-3, 0-0 Horizon)
vs. Ball State (0-2, 0-0 MAC)
Match #6: Saturday, September 5, 4:30 p.m. CDT
Valpo (1-3, 0-0 Horizon)
at Purdue (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso heads down I-65 this week to participate in the Boilermaker Challenge Cup hosted by Purdue.  In Thursday’s first match, the Crusaders will battle Ball State before taking on the host Boilermakers on Saturday to wrap up tournament action.

On the Air: The matches against both Ball State and Purdue will be broadcast live this week.  The Ball State match will be carried on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at  Saturday’s contest against Purdue will be available just online at through  Live stats will also be provided through for both matches this week.

Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich is 11-9-3 in his second season overall and with Valpo.  Just the third coach in program history, he has moved into second place all-time in victories for the Crusaders.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Ball State are meeting for the fifth time on the pitch with the Crusaders holding a 3-1 advantage.  Last year the Crusaders downed the Cardinals 1-0 in the season opener at Eastgate Field.  This is the first time the two schools will have ever met on a neutral field.  Valpo and Purdue are meeting for the fourth time with the Boilermakers holding a 3-0 series edge.  The schools last met in 2007 with Purdue posting a 3-0 victory in West Lafayette, Ind.

Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action:
Northern Illinois scored as a result of an own goal less than four minutes into a match, and posted a 1-0 victory over the Crusaders in a match that got moved to Brown Field due to wet conditions at Eastgate Field.  In Sunday’s contest in Indianapolis, Jackie Kondratko converted a penalty kick with 3:32 remaining to give Valpo a 1-0 win over IUPUI, the Brown and Gold’s first triumph of the season.

Scouting Ball State: The Cardinals are still looking for their first victory of the season following a 3-0 loss at Florida Atlantic on Sunday afternoon.  Meg Mellott has scored the lone Ball State goal while Amy Cleeter has seen a majority of the action in goal.  The Cardinals were tabbed to finish 10th in the Mid-American Conference preseason poll.

Scouting Purdue: The Boilermakers are a perfect 3-0 thus season following a 3-2 upset victory over sixth-ranked Texas A&M in College Station, Texas on Sunday afternoon.  Jessica Okoroafo has scored three goals and added two assists for Purdue this season while Jenny Bradfisch has played a majority of the minutes in goal.  The Boilermakers were picked fourth in the Big Ten preseason poll.

Valpo in Tournament Action: The Boilermaker Challenge Cup will be Valpo’s first in-season tournament since the Brown and Gold participated in the Diadora Classic hosted by Creighton in 2005.  Valpo tied Creighton and fell to North Dakota State in that event.  Prior to that event, the Crusaders had not participated in a tournament since 2002 at the Cal Poly Tournament.

Valpo at Neutral Sites: Valparaiso enters Thursday’s match with Ball State 4-10-2 all-time in neutral site contests.

Kondratko’s a Winner:
Jackie Kondratko’s penalty kick goal was her third match-winning tally of her career, moving her into a tie for ninth place on Valpo’s career list.  Teammate Jessie White also has three match-winning tallies for her career.

Cabral All-Time Goals Against Average Leader: Mele Cabral surpassed the 2,500 career minute mark last weekend and has qualified for Valpo’s all-time goals against average list.  The senior’s 0.73 career mark surpasses Erin Murray (2004-2007) for the top spot.  Murray previously held the record with a 1.19 career goals against mark.

Lots of Shots: Jackie Kondratko’s next shot attempt will move her into the top-10 all-time in school history in that category.  The senior has 82 shots, one shy of Lori Johnson (2005-2008) and two behind Kerry Donoho (1994-1997).  Teammate Sarah Jewell ranks eighth on the all-time charts with 85 career shot attempts.

White Nearing the Top-10: With her assist against Michigan, Jessie White tallied her seventh career helper.  The senior needs just one more to move into a tie for ninth place on Valpo’s career assist list.  White also now has 21 career points, just two shy of ninth place on that list as well.

Keep On Shooting: Luisa Desario has fired 15 shot attempts in the first four matches for the Brown and Gold, including seven in the opener at Morehead State.  She ranks second in the Horizon League in shots, but is still looking for her first collegiate goal.

Team Captains: Valpo has tri-captains for the 2009 season.  Seniors Mele Cabral and Jackie Kondratko joins sophomore Tracy Roos in assuming the role this year.

Looking to Continue Winning Ways:
Valpo has tallied five straight winning seasons following last year’s 10-6-3 mark, which was also the Crusaders’ fifth-straight 10-win campaign.

Valpo Tabbed Sixth in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish sixth in the Horizon League this year in the annual preseason poll.  The Crusaders placed eighth one year ago.