Senior forward Steve Shively (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) scored both Crusader goals on Tuesday evening as Valparaiso defeated IPFW 2-0 in Fort Wayne, Ind.
With the pair of markers, Shively now has five goals on the season, tied for the team lead and giving him 18 career goals, which is tied for sixth-most in Crusader men’s soccer history. When his four assists are factored in as well, the senior has a career-high 14 points on the season and now has 41 career points, tied for eighth all-time at Valpo.
“It is great to come out with another win on the road,” said Crusader head coach Mike Avery. “I thought we played really well in the first half. In the second half, IPFW put us in under a bit more pressure; their #12 (Max Touloute) was especially very good and was giving us a hard time one-on-one. But we kept our composure and battled, and finally found the goals we needed to get for the win.”
The teams played to a scoreless first half, as Valpo out-shot the Mastodons by a 7-4 count in the opening 45 minutes. IPFW started to build up the pressure on the Crusader defense early in the second half, getting off three shot attempts in the first nine minutes, including one attempt that ricocheted off the post.
But it would be Valpo that hit the scoreboard first in the 63rd minute. Stefan Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson [College of Lake County/Marquette] made a nice tackle on an IPFW player in the Crusaders’ offensive end for a takeaway and got the ball to Shively. The senior drove into the box and then let a shot fly from 12 yards that beat Mastodon netminder Donovan Dowling to the left for the game’s first tally.
Shively would add his second goal with just seconds remaining in the contest. With IPFW taking a free kick in its offensive half, the Mastodons pushed Dowling up into the box looking for the equalizer. Ken Perkins (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) gained possession for Valpo and sent a lead pass ahead to Shively, who converted on the breakaway empty net opportunity for his second two-goal game of the season.
IPFW (4-10-2) held a slight 13-12 advantage in total shots on the night, but the Crusaders put four attempts on frame to just two for the Mastodons. Ryan Schwarz (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) stopped both IPFW shots on goal for his fourth shutout of the season, while Dowling also made two saves for the Mastodons.
Valparaiso (7-6-1) continues its three-game road trip with a return to Horizon League action at Milwaukee on Saturday evening. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., and live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com.