Crusaders Look to Build Upon Solid Start
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Crusaders Look to Build Upon Solid Start
Kristen Manski became the ninth Crusader to record a shutout all-time last weekend. (Ray Acevedo)

Valparaiso (2-0-1, 0-0 Horizon)
Match #4: Friday, Sept. 3, 6 p.m. CDT
at IPFW (1-2, 0-0 Summit)
Hefner Soccer Complex - Fort Wayne, Ind.
Match #5: Sunday, Sept. 5, 1 p.m. CDT
vs. Eastern Kentucky (1-3, 0-0 OVC)
Eastgate Field - Valparaiso, Ind.

This Week in Crusader Soccer: Valparaiso looks to continue its best start in program history on Friday evening, heading across the state of Indiana to battle IPFW.  The Crusaders will then return home to Eastgate Field on Sunday afternoon to battle the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky.

On the Air: Friday’s match at IPFW will not be broadcast over the air or online.  Sunday’s contest against Eastern Kentucky will be available on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online through  Live stats will also be available through for both matches.

Head Coach John Marovich: John Marovich holds a 23-15-5 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 (.593) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories.

Series Notes: Valparaiso holds a 6-2-1 all-time advantage against IPFW and has won three straight in the series, including last year’s 2-0 triumph on October 25 at Brown Field.  The Crusaders are 2-1-1 against the Mastodons in Fort Wayne, Ind., earning a 1-0 road victory back in 2008.  Valparaiso and Eastern Kentucky are meeting on the pitch for the first time ever. 

Wrapping Up Last Week’s Action: Freshman Lauren Gagnon scored her first collegiate goal just over 10 minutes into the match on Friday evening as the Crusaders earned a 1-0 victory over Eastern Illinois. Kristen Manski posted her first collegiate shutout in goal on a historic night for Valpo soccer, the first regular season night match ever played on campus.  Sunday at Evansville, Janine Lytle scored at the 10:06 mark of the first half but Dani Langness’s goal later in the stanza knotted the match as the Crusaders and Purple Aces battled to a 1-1 double-overtime draw.

Scouting IPFW:
The Mastodons enter Friday’s match coming off of a 2-0 loss at Indiana State on Sunday.  IPFW’s lone victory, a 3-2 overtime triumph against Youngstown State, came in its only home match thus far this season.  Three different players have scored thus far this year for the Mastodons while Erin Nayler has played every minute in goal, posting a 1.57 goals against average.

Scouting Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels are coming off of back-to-back setbacks at Kansas and SIU Edwardsville last weekend.  Carly Muller and Courtney Nestor have scored the Eastern Kentucky goals this year while Stephanie Lyne sports a 2.25 goals against average in 360 minutes of action between the posts.

Let There Be Light: The Crusaders won the first night game ever played under the lights on the Valparaiso University campus last Friday, defeating Eastern Illinois 1-0.  Valpo will also face Eastern Michigan on September 10 in at night match on Brown Field.

Ellis Makes Collegiate Debut: Tara Ellis made her collegiate debut on Sunday afternoon in the overtime draw at Evansville.  The Northwest Indiana (Portage) native saw five minutes of action in the match.  Defender Katie Gratzianna and goalkeepers Stefanie Matsas and Rachel DeFrank are the only three Crusaders that have yet to see action for the Brown and Gold this season now.

First Collegiate Goals: Freshman Lauren Gagnon’s match-winning goal against Eastern Illinois also proved to be her first collegiate goal.  She redirected a cross in the middle of the box into the back of the net for the lone tally of the evening.  Two days later, sophomore Janine Lytle picked up a loose ball in the box and scored her first collegiate goal in the draw at Evansville.  Freshman Amanda Ulin also registered her first collegiate point on the play, garnering an assist following a corner kick.

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 43 matches during her career at Valpo.  Sarah Melhorn also has an impressive streak of her own, having started the last 41 straight matches dating back to the 2008 campaign.

Notching First Collegiate Shutout: Freshman netminder Kristen Manski earned her first college shutout in the 1-0 victory over Eastern Illinois.  She becomes just the ninth Crusader goaltender in school history to earn a solo shutout, and is already tied for seventh on the career charts.

Firing Away: Luisa Desario leads the Horizon League with 17 shot attempts already on the young season.  The sophomore has scored once and assisted on two other Crusaders goals.  Desario had nine shots on Sunday at Evansville.

Team Captains: Valpo has 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: The Crusaders have outshot all three opponents thus far this season, and hold a 39-22 shot edge overall.