October 17, 20151st2ndFinal
Green Bay011
VALPO25:29CRAVEN, Rita (ABAD, Vanesa )
GB87:51Piette, Nicole (Schulz, Katie )
GBKent, Kelly90:0022
Stats at a GlanceGBVALPO
Shots (on Goal)8 (3) 17 (4)
Corner Kicks115
Yellow Cards02
Crusader Women Return to League Play Saturday Night
Friday, October 16, 2015
Crusader Women Return to League Play Saturday Night

Valparaiso (5-5-3, 2-2-1 Horizon)

Crusaders continue play at home versus league foe Green Bay

Saturday, Oct. 17th – 7:30 p.m. – Green Bay (3-10-0, 1-4-0 Horizon)

This Week in Crusader Soccer: The Valparaiso University women’s soccer team continues play at home at Brown Field Saturday night, when Horizon League foe Green Bay comes to town. Saturday’s match starts a stretch of four consecutive league matches to close out the regular season for the Crusaders. The first 200 students through the gates Saturday night will receive a free Valpo soccer scarf.

Previously: Valpo split a pair of matches last week. The Crusaders were able to take league-leading Northern Kentucky into overtime, but fell 3-2 in the second extra period. Two days later on Sunday, the Crusaders bounced back, earning a 3-1 non-league win at home against Loyola. Valpo was able to fight back after letting up an early goal in the seventh minute, behind Shleby Oelschlager’s pair of goals.

Following the Crusaders: Saturday’s match will be broadcast on ESPN3.com and carried by WVUR, while live stats will be available through ValpoAthletics.com. Over the course of the 2015 season, seven home matches will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com, while WVUR, Valpo’s student radio station, will also be broadcasting select matches.

Head Coach John Marovich: The 2014 Horizon League Coach of the Year, John Marovich holds a 71-50-27 record both overall and with Valpo in his eighth season at the helm of the Brown and Gold. Just the third head coach in program history, Marovich has the best winning percentage (.571) ever at Valpo, and ranks second in total victories, just eight wins shy of the top spot.

Series Notes: The Crusaders have faced the Phoenix 18 times since 1993, with Green Bay holding a one-game lead in the all-time series, 8-7-3. Valpo did win both of last year’s meetings, however, closing the regular season with a 4-1 road win as part of its perfect league record (8-0-0), and following with a 2-0 win in their semifinal matchup in the Horizon League Championship.

Scouting the Opposition: Green Bay comes to town with a 3-10-0 record overall and 1-4-0 in Horizon League play. The Phoenix picked up a win in their most recent game at Youngstown State, 1-0. Heidi Hartmann leads the Green Bay offense with 15 points (6g, 3a), while Kelly Kent has seen the vast majority of time in goal, posting a 2.27 GAA.

Crusaders Picked Atop Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were a unanimous choice to repeat atop the league table in 2015, according to preseason polling of the league’s head coaches. Valpo received all nine possible first-place votes, as head coaches were not allowed to rank their own team, to finish with 81 points. Oakland received the remaining first-place vote and was ranked second with 63 points, narrowly edging out Detroit with 60 points.

Looking Back at 2014: Last season’s Crusader squad was a record-setting side across the board, posting a 14-2-4 record, their 10th winning campaign in the last 11 years. The 14 wins marked a new program record, and the team set new marks for winning streak (12 matches) and unbeaten streak (18 matches) as well. The 2014 Valpo side became just the third squad in Horizon League history to post a perfect 8-0-0 record in regular season league play, as the Crusaders swept through the regular season and the tournament as well. Defensively, the squad set a new program best, surrendering just nine goals, while Sydney Galvez-Daley set new individual records for shutouts (12), wins (14) and GAA (0.43).

Glance at the Table: As the Horizon League slate has passed through the halfway mark for the Crusaders, a look at the league standings shows things starting to separate a bit. Two teams remain undefeated (Milwaukee [5 games] and Northern Kentucky [5]) The Crusaders are currently sitting in a tie for fifth position with seven points through five games, but have three games remaining against teams currently sitting ahead (Milwaukee, Detroit, and Cleveland State) to give the Crusaders ample opportunity to move up the table.

Cronin Adds to Her Total: Junior April Cronin added two more goals to her ledger this past week, bringing her team-leading total to seven goals on the season. Cronin has now scored on seven of her 22 shots on goal (31.8%) this year. Cronin’s seven goals place her in a first-place tie for most goals in the Horizon League. The junior is now tied for eighth on Valpo’s single-season goal-scoring chart this year. Cronin has boosted her career total to 17 goals, sixth-best in Crusader history and just one goal shy of fourth place.

Oelschlager Becomes a Threat: It was September 26, 2015, three and a half years into her Crusader soccer career, and defender Shelby Oelschlager had yet to find the back of the net in a Valpo uniform. But fast-forward just 15 days and Oelschlager finds herself with three goals in the last five games. She found the back of the net for the first time in the Crusaders’ rout at YSU, and then last time out versus Loyola, scored a pair of goals – including the first match-winner of her career.

Making Their Mark: Last week saw this year’s Crusader side join the team’s record book in a pair of places. Opening the match against Northern Kentucky, Cronin struck just 68 seconds into the match – the fourth-fastest opening goal in program history. Then, in the win over Loyola on Sunday, Oelschlager and Cronin recorded goals just 52 seconds apart – the fourth-shortest span between goals all-time at Valpo and the quickest two goals since 2009.

Academic Success: The Valparaiso women’s soccer team has been not only strong on the field, but also in the classroom in its history and has continued that tradition. Earlier this week, the Crusaders were awarded the NSCAA Team Academic Award, presented to programs with a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better for the 2014-15 academic year, for the 13th consecutive year. Last year, Valpo posted a team GPA of 3.52.

Craven Back For More: Senior midfielder Rita Craven returns for her final season already the most decorated player in program history. Craven was named as one of 28 players to the preseason MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, the first Crusader ever to earn a spot on the watch list for collegiate soccer’s most prestigious award. Last year, Craven became the first player in Valpo history to earn All-American honors, as she was named an NSCAA Third Team All-American. In addition, she was an NSCAA First Team Scholar All-American, as well as the Horizon League’s Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

More Honorees Return: Craven is far from the only player to receive honors for her work last season returning in 2015 for Valpo, however. All four of the Crusaders’ NSCAA All-Region honorees are back this year, as senior Jenny Fassbinder and juniors Cronin and Shelby Oelschlager were all Second Team All-Region choices. Both Fassbinder and Oelschlager started all 20 games on defense last year, while Cronin led the Crusaders with nine goals scored. Galvez-Daley is back as well, a Second Team All-League pick by the league and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year as chosen by College Sports Madness, while Vanesa Abad (6 goals, 1 assist) returns for her sophomore season after being named the Horizon League Freshman of the Year last year. In addition, Morgan Manzke – the 2013 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year – returns as well after using last season as an injury redshirt year.