Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo to the Road Saturday for Mid-Con Matchup With Centenary

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

THIS WEEK: Valpo at Centenary (Saturday, 3:00 p.m.)

SCOUTING CENTENARY: It's been a rough third season for Gents Head Coach Eric Mayo, who has watched his Centenary squad get off to a rocky 1-7-0 start. The Gents won their second match of the year, 2-0 over Belhaven College, but have dropped six matches in a row since that point and have been out-scored by a 19-1 margin over their last four defeats. Oakland, the defending Mid-Con champs, downed Centenary at home 4-1 last weekend in the Gents' only match of the conference season thus far. The Crusaders own the season series advantage all-time, 2-1-1 over Centenary, and are unbeaten in the last three meetings. Last season, Valpo earned a 1-0 home win over the Gents on a Clifton Brown goal in the second half. The two teams finished tied in their only previous meeting in Shreveport, a 2-2 draw October 2, 2004.

VALPO IN THE MID-CON: The Crusaders are trying to make back-to-back appearances in the Mid-Con Tournament this season for the first time since 1996-98, and three points against the Gents would go a long way towards making that a reality. Valpo's 10 points last season earned the squad the fourth seed in the league tournament, and only once since 1996 has a Crusader team that won at least two conference matches not qualified for the league tournament. The Brown and Gold have road matches against UMKC and Western Illinois and home contests again Oakland and IUPUI remaining on their Mid-Con schedule.

LAST WEEK: Valpo picked up a huge win last Friday afternoon at Eastgate Field knocking off Oral Roberts 2-0, defeating the Golden Eagles for the first time since 1998 and starting the conference season with a win. Long a Valpo nemesis, Oral Roberts was picked third in the Mid-Con Preseason Poll after making a semifinal appearance at the conference tournament last season. The Crusader win came courtesy of their third shutout of the season and a pair of goals in the final eight minutes of the match. Valpo's 5-2 start was also the best in school history. Sunday, the Crusaders dominated against Cleveland State, out-shooting the Vikings 18-3 in the second half, but could not score a late equalizing goal, losing 2-1.

?SHUTOUT' SCHWARZ: In his 16 years as the Crusader Head Coach, Mis' Mrak has coached two phenomenal goalies, each of whom have posted some unbelievable numbers. Aaron Rhame, who was inducted into the Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame last year, still ranks in the NCAA's top five with 577 career saves in addition to graduating as the Crusaders' career and single-season record holder in saves and goals against average. Rhame finally saw some of his all-time records fall last year to Jeff Oleck who concluded his stellar career with a Division I school record five-shutout 2005 season. Now, in freshman keeper Ryan Schwarz, Mrak may have found the next big thing between the pipes. Schwarz already has three shutouts this season (one shy of Oleck's rookie record) and leads the Mid-Continent Conference with 48 saves and a 6.00 saves/game average. That average also ranks the freshman fifth among all Division I keepers.

WHAT DAY IS IT?: Because for some reason, the day of the week has been a telling factor in whether or not the Crusaders will win. Valpo is 4-0 on Fridays and Saturdays, but only 1-3 on Sunday or Monday. In the season's first four weekends, the Brown and Gold have won the first match every time, but gone on to lose the weekend's second match three of four times, including last week.

A LONG TIME COMING: Senior Jeremy Stacy, who has played in 48 straight matches since stepping foot on the Valpo campus four years ago, was named the Mid-Continent Conference's Offensive Player of the Week for his one-goal, one-assist effort last weekend. Stacy scored Valpo's insurance goal Friday against Oral Roberts and added his team-leading fourth assist of the season in Sunday's loss.

RACE TO ASSIST: From the way it looks, Brian Thiel's 14-year-old career assist record is in serious trouble. The question is, which Crusader will break it first? Both Stacy and D.J. Catrow have 13 assists, three shy of Thiel's mark, tied for the third on the all-time list. Thiel is currently Valpo's leader in career goals, points and assists.

QUICKLY: Stacy's Mid-Con Player of the Week Award made him the third Crusader to win the award this year in only four weeks of play.
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana