Valpo Women Host Eastern Illinois in Home Opener Friday
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Valpo Women Host Eastern Illinois in Home Opener Friday
Luisa Desario had a goal and an assist in the season opener last Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)

Valparaiso (1-0, 0-0 Horizon)
Match #2: Friday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m. CDT
vs. Eastern Illinois (2-0, 0-0 OVC)
Brown Field - Valparaiso, Ind.
Match #3: Sunday, Aug. 29, 1 p.m. CDT
at Evansville (0-2, 0-0 MVC)
Arad McCutchan Stadium - Evansville, Ind.

This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso plays under the lights on campus for the first time in program history on Friday evening as the Crusaders host Eastern Illinois at Brown Field.  The Brown and Gold then remains instate on Sunday when Valpo heads to Evansville.

On the Air: Both matches this weekend can be heard live online with Sunday’s contest also available on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso).  Friday’s match against Eastern Illinois will be carried through  Access to the audio of both matches is available through  Live stats will also be available through for both matches.

Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich holds a 22-15-4 record both overall and with Valpo in his third season at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  Just the third head coach in program history, Marovich has the best winning percentage (.585) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Eastern Illinois are meeting for the first time since 2003, with the Panthers holding a 7-1-1 all-time advantage.  Valpo won the last contest between the two schools 3-2 in overtime on Sept. 28, 2003.  Evansville holds a 6-2 advantage in the all-time series with the Crusaders, but Valpo has won the last two meetings between the two schools.  The last time the two met the Crusaders posted a 3-0 victory at home on Sept. 24, 2006.

Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action: Valpo won its season opener for the fifth time in the last six years on Saturday evening, coming from behind to down UMKC 3-2 in Kansas City, Mo.  Trisha Wladecki and Luisa Desario each had a goal and an assist while Catherine Terrell added a goal as the Crusaders scored three times in the second half for the victory.

Scouting Eastern Illinois: The Panthers opened the season with victories over IUPUI (2-0) and Evansville (1-0, ot), both at home in Charleston, Ill.  Ashley Streid, the team’s leading scorer with four goals a year ago, had one of the match-winners this year with Kristin Germann providing the other.  Kaylin Lorbert has made six saves in goal, playing a majority of the minutes.  Eastern Illinois is picked sixth in the Ohio Valley Conference this season.

Scouting Evansville: The Purple Aces are still looking for their first victory of the season after falling to Indiana (3-0) and Eastern Illinois (1-0, ot) during the opening weekend.  Chaviel Harrison has played every minute in goal this year for Evansville thus far, and has recorded eight saves.  Evansville is tabbed fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference this season.

Looking for More Opening Success: After defeating UMKC 3-2 last Friday for the fifth season-opening victory in the last six years, the Crusaders will open the home portion of the schedule on Friday with Eastern Illinois.  Valpo is 4-13 all-time in home openers after falling 2-1 to Michigan in the 2009 debut at home.

Three Freshmen Start Collegiate Debuts: Valpo had three freshmen in the starting lineup on Saturday against UMKC, including Kristen Manski in goal.  The rookie made two saves for her first collegiate win.  In addition, Amanda Ulin and Lauren Gagnon both started their first college matches against the Kangaroos.

Other First Time Valpo Appearances: Redshirt-junior Casey Pedersen came off of the bench to make her first appearance in a Brown and Gold uniform after sitting out last season with an injury.  Pedersen transferred to Valpo before the 2009 season from Binghamton.  Freshmen Marta Luna and Hailey Chmela both made their collegiate debuts for the Crusaders as well on Saturday.

Looking to Continue the Winning Tradition: Valparaiso enters the 2010 season having posted six consecutive winning seasons following last year’s 11-9-1 record overall.  Last year also marked the sixth 10-win season in program laurels, all of which have come during the last six years.

Pencil Them in the Lineup: Junior Tracy Roos has started all 41 matches during her career at Valpo.  Sarah Melhorn also has an impressive streak of her own, having started the last 39 straight matches dating back to the 2008 campaign.

Rallying after Surrendering the First Goal: Valpo posted a victory after giving up the first goal of the match in the season opener against UMKC, something the Crusaders were unable to do in 2009.  Valpo was 0-7-1 when the opposition scored first a year ago and was just 1-5 in 2008 in the same situation.

A Second Half Rally: Valpo’s win after trailing at halftime against UMKC was also something the Crusaders had not done in awhile.  The last time the Crusaders trailed at the break before coming back to win was the 2006 season opener on August 25, a 2-1 overtime win at Indiana State.

Team Captains: Valpo will have co-captains for the 2010 season.  Junior Tracy Roos has been named a team captain for the second straight season and will be joined in that role by senior Sarah Melhorn.

Crusaders Picked Third in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish third in the Horizon League this season according to the preseason poll.  The Crusaders finished third in the regular season a year ago before advancing to the tournament championship match.

This and That: Valpo’s next six matches will be played in the Hoosier State, with four coming at home along with road matches at Evansville and IPFW.