Valpo to Host Liberty, Head to Wright State This Weekend
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Valpo to Host Liberty, Head to Wright State This Weekend
Sarah Melhorn and Valpo look to start Horizon League play on a winning note Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)

Match #8: Friday, September 18, 4 p.m. CDT
Liberty (1-4, 0-0 Big South)
at Valpo (2-5, 0-0 Horizon)
Match #9: Sunday, September 20, 12 p.m. CDT
Valpo (2-5, 0-0 Horizon)
at Wright State (2-3-2, 1-0 Horizon)

This Week in Crusader Soccer: After a week off, Valparaiso returns to the pitch this weekend for a pair of matches, beginning Friday against Liberty at Eastgate Field as the Crusaders play their final tune-up before conference play. On Sunday, the Crusaders open their third Horizon League season in Dayton, Ohio battling Wright State.

On the Air: The match against Liberty on Friday will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at  Sunday’s match at Wright State will not be broadcast.  Live stats will be provided through for both matches this week.

Upcoming Promotions: Friday’s match with Liberty is the Fraternity/Sorority Challenge.  Campus fraternities and sororities will be competing with one another to see which organization can bring the most fans to the match.  In addition, an autograph session with the Crusaders will be held for all fans following the match.

Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich is 12-11-3 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 Liberty are meeting for the first time ever on the soccer field.  The Crusaders and Wright State are meeting for the seventh time with the Raiders holding a 6-0 all-time series lead, including a 3-0 advantage in Dayton.  Last year, the Raiders defeated Valpo 2-0 on October 2 at Eastgate Field.

Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action: Central Michigan scored with just 8:30 remaining in regulation on Friday afternoon as the Chippewas defeated the Crusaders 1-0 in Mount Pleasant, Mich.  A turnover led to Laura Twindle’s match-winner.  Mele Cabral made six saves in the loss for the Crusaders.

Scouting Liberty: The Flames visit Eastgate Field looking to snap a three-match losing skid following a 1-0 setback at Navy on Sunday.  Madison Short has scored two of Liberty’s three goals on the year, while in goal, Karen Blocker has played all 450 minutes, sporting a 2.60 goals against average.

Scouting Wright State:
The Raiders enter the week on a four-match unbeaten streak following a scoreless draw at Dayton on Sunday.  Wright State hosts Western Michigan on Friday.  Brittany Persaud leads the team with two goals and five points offensively while Meghan Hackerson has played every minute in goal, posting a 0.92 goals against average.

Valpo Looks for First Horizon League Opening Win: The match at Wright State marks the beginning of Valpo’s third Horizon League season.  The Crusaders are looking for their first win in a Horizon League opener, having fallen to Butler 2-0 in each of the last two years.

An Early Start to the League Season:
Valpo and Wright State are the only Horizon League teams to play this weekend.  The Raiders opened conference play back on September 6 hosting Loyola, but this is the opener for the Crusaders.  All of the other league teams will begin conference play later in September.

Pencil Them in the Lineup: Head coach John Marovich has used the same starting 11 for every match this season with the exception of the opener at Morehead State.  In that contest, Catherine Terrell started in place of Luisa Desario.

Truly a Mainstay: Mele Cabral continues her string of matches between the posts.  The senior goalkeeper has played every minute of every contest the last two seasons, all 26, for a total of 2867:35 consecutive minutes for the Brown and Gold.

Cabral All-Time Goals Against Average Leader: Mele Cabral qualified for Valpo’s all-time goals against average list earlier this season when she surpassed 2,500 career minutes in goal.  The senior’s 0.78 career mark moved her in front of Erin Murray (2004-2007) for the top spot.  Murray previously held the record with a 1.19 career goals against mark.

Lots of Shots: Sarah Jewell and Jackie Kondratko both rank among the top-10 in school history in shot attempts.  Jewell has 88 shots in her four years with Valpo, ranking eighth all-time, just four behind Erin Crowgey (1997-2000) for seventh place on the career chart.  Kondratko broke into the top-10 this season, and is now ninth, two shots behind Jewell, with 86.

The Halfway Point: Sunday’s match will mark the midway point in the regular season, as the Crusaders will have just nine contests remaining after playing Wright State.

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.

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.

Desario Named First Player of the Week:
Freshman Luisa Desario became the first Crusader to earn Horizon League Player of the Week honors in women’s soccer since the Brown and Gold joined the conference on September 7.  Desario had two goals against Ball State to help her earn the honor.

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.