The Valparaiso University men’s soccer program has announced its schedule for the 2018 season, featuring three exhibitions, six Missouri Valley Conference matches and 10 nonconference fixtures.
The nonconference slate is highlighted by an appearance in the University of Wisconsin Tournament in Madison, Wis. as the Crusaders take on a pair of Big Ten foes – battling Northwestern on Saturday, Sept. 1 and Wisconsin on Monday, Sept. 3. The Badgers went 12-5-5 and won two NCAA Tournament matches last season including a victory over No. 12 Notre Dame. The Crusaders have three wins and four draws against Big Ten opponents since Mike Avery took over the program in 2007.
After friendlies against Western Michigan (Aug. 16) and Purdue Fort Wayne (Aug. 17), the Crusaders will round out the preseason slate with the annual Grassroots Soccer Charity Exhibition at Notre Dame on Monday, Aug. 20. The regular season begins with a 5 p.m. start against instate foe IUPUI on Friday, Aug. 24, the front end of a men’s-women’s doubleheader at Brown Field.
The Crusaders compete in their first regular season road match on Aug. 26 at Marquette. After the Wisconsin Tournament, Valpo visits former league foe Milwaukee on Sept. 7. The Panthers went 10-5-4 and 6-3 in conference a year ago.
After home dates against Western Illinois (Sept. 15) and SIU Edwardsville (Sept. 18), Valpo will begin Valley play at Missouri State on Sept. 22. The Bears went 5-2-1 in conference action last season.
Valpo will play Bowling Green for the first time since 2010 on Sept. 29, then face off with Oral Roberts for the first time since 2011 on Oct. 1 at Brown Field. Those matches precede the first Valley home game on Oct. 6 against Loyola. The nonconference finale will be at Eastern Illinois on Oct. 10, then Valpo rounds out the regular season with four consecutive conference fixtures – at Bradley (Oct. 13), vs. Central Arkansas (Oct. 20), at Evansville (Oct. 27) and vs. Drake (Nov. 3).
The 2018 MVC Tournament will be hosted by Evansville beginning on Nov. 7.