Valpo Set for Horizon League Semis on Friday
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Valpo Set for Horizon League Semis on Friday
Sarah Melhorn and Valpo look to advance to the Horizon League Championship. (Ray Acevedo)

Match #20: Friday, November 6, 5 p.m. CST
#3 Valpo (10-8-1, 5-3 Horizon)
    vs. #2 Wright State (11-6-2, 6-2 Horizon)
Horizon League Tournament Semifinal
Engelmann Field (2,000, Grass) - Milwaukee, Wis.

This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso heads to Milwaukee, Wis. this weekend for the semifinals of the 2009 Horizon League Women’s Soccer Championships.  The Crusaders, the tournament’s third seed, will battle second-seeded Wright State on Friday night in the first semifinal match.

On the Air:
Every Crusader Horizon League Tournament match will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at  Live stats will be provided through for the matches as well.  Friday’s semifinal contest will also be able to seen live on the Horizon League Network.

Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich is 20-14-4 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 Wright State are meeting for the eighth time in a series dating back to 1993.  The Raiders have won each of the previous seven meetings, including a 3-0 decision back on September 20 of this year in Dayton, Ohio in the Horizon League opener for Valpo.  This will be the first meeting ever between the two schools on a neutral field as well as in tournament play.

Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action: Valparaiso earned its first Horizon League Tournament victory in school history on Sunday afternoon as the third-seeded Crusaders shutout the sixth seed, Green Bay, 2-0 at Brown Field.  Jackie Kondratko scored a pair of goals for the Brown and Gold, the first just under 10 minutes into the contest with Luisa Desario earning the assist.  Kondratko’s second tally added insurance with just over 12 minutes remaining on a blast to the far post.  Mele Cabral did not have to make a save on her way to her eighth shutout of the season.

Scouting Wright State: The Raiders had a bye in the quarterfinal round and enter the tournament having won two straight following a 1-0 overtime win at Detroit on October 25.  Wright State played its last four matches away from home prior to the tournament.  Bekah Bonny leads the Raider offense with seven goals and 15 points while Brittany Persaud has added five goals and three assists for 13 points.  In goal, Meghan Hackerson has posted a 0.70 goals against average and an .857 save percentage this season while recording eight shutouts.

Valpo in the Horizon League Tournament: The Crusaders have advanced to the semfinals of the Horizon League Championships for the first time in school history.

Another 10-Win Season: Valparaiso has assured itself of its sixth straight 10-win season following the victory against Green Bay.  The 10 wins this year are tied for the third most in program history behind the 12 victories in 2005 and 2006.

Freshmen Scoring Duo: Rookies Rachel Hoaglin and Luisa Desario have paced the Valpo offensive attack this season.  Hoaglin has a team-leading 19 points, including a team-best seven goals and five assists.  She ranks third in the conference in goals and points and fourth in assists.  Desario is fifth in the Horizon League with six goals this year and has 15 total points.  Each of the freshmen has two match-winning goals this year as well.

Win Streak Second Longest Ever: Valpo has won six straight matches, tied for the second longest streak in school history.  The Crusaders also won six straight during the 2000 season while posting eight consecutive triumphs from September 8 through October 1 of 2006.  The current streak began on October 11 with an overtime victory against Detroit, and since then has seen Valpo post five consecutive 2-0 wins.

Kondratko Shines in Postseason Play: Jackie Kondratko scored both goals against Green Bay in the Horizon League quarterfinals last Sunday to give her a team-leading seven goals this season.  The senior also tallied her fourth match-winner of the year, tying a school single season record, while posting her sixth of her career, fifth most on the all-time lists. 

Cabral Ties Career Mark: Mele Cabral’s eight clean sheets on the season rank second all-time for the Crusaders behind her 10 shutouts last year.  She now has matched Erin Murray’s (2004-2007) career shutout record with 20 on the year.

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.

All-Time Scoring Leaders: Sarah Jewell, Jackie Kondratko, and Jessie White are all in the top-10 on Valpo’s career points list.  Jewell and Kondratko have moved into a seventh place tie with 33 points each while White ranks 10th with 24 points.  Jewell is sixth all-time with 14 career goals while Kondratko is one spot back with 13 career tallies.  White is tied for ninth on the all-time assist list with eight career helpers.

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 0.89 career mark moves 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 Games:
Jessie White has moved into seventh place all-time in matches played with 76 career appearances at Valpo.  The senior has started 71 matches during her career.

Moving Up the Team Leaderboard: Valpo’s 26 goals and 74 points this season ranks as the fifth best single season performances by a Crusader team in school history.  The team’s 22 assists are fourth best as well.  Defensively, 23 goals allowed and a 1.19 team goals against average rank fourth on the single season charts while the team’s eight shutouts are second best.