The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team started its Labor Day weekend tournament with a 1-0 setback on Saturday against Big 10 foe Northwestern in Madison, Wis. Valpo had the edge in shots for the third straight game, but it was the Wildcats who made their way onto the scoreboard in the second half.
How It Happened
- Valpo had the upper hand statistically in the opening 45 minutes, outshooting Northwestern 7-3 and recording the lone shot on goal. Wildcats goalkeeper Miha Miskovic notched the only save of the half.
- That first-half save came in the 31st minute when Akeen Bradford (Kingston, Jamaica / Camperdown [Cincinnati State]) placed the only shot on goal by either team prior to halftime. Rafael Mentzingen (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Bryan) was the only player on either side to create multiple first-half shots as he hit three.
- Valpo goalkeeper Nacho Miras (Ubeda, Spain / Nuestra Semora del Pilar) notched his first save of the evening in the 52nd minute, making the stop on an attempt by Northwestern’s Mattias Tomasino. Miras followed with another stop five minutes later to keep the shutout intact.
- Northwestern’s Tommy Katsiyiannis snapped the scoreless deadlock in the 72nd minute, scoring a goal with Sean Lynch and Julian Zighelboim receiving assists.
- Michael Marchionna put a shot on goal in the 83rd minute, but Miskovic was there for the stop. Mentzingen had one more chance to equalize in the 89th minute, but Northwestern notched a team save.
Inside the Match
- Mason Marcey (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Christian [Radford]) and Julien Bertho (Plumelec, France / Richland CC) made their Valpo debuts on Saturday, while Chris Villalobos (Richardson, Texas / J.J. Pearce) made his first appearance of the season.
- Miras turned in two saves for Valpo.
- Valpo outshot Northwestern 14-9 and held a 4-3 edge in shots on goal. Mentzingen led the team with six shots, while Demar Rose (Kingston, Jamaica / Wolmer’s Boys School) had three.
- Valpo has held the edge in shots in all three games it has played this season.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a challenging day for both teams as it was very hot and humid, and given the conditions, I thought both teams put on a good game. While we certainly are going into these games to compete, we also have to keep our perspective and our focus on the bigger picture. Conference play is paramount and we need to be ready for that. Playing a hard schedule with teams like Northwestern on it helps us prepare.”
“We played a few guys for the first time today – Bertho, Villalobos and Marcey as they returned from injuries – and were pleased with their contributions. We also had good output from a deeper rotation than we might normally play because of the humidity.”
“In many respects we did enough to earn a better result, but full credit to Northwestern. They defended well and their goalkeeper made a few amazing saves late in the game to keep us off the board. Overall, there was real progress made and we are excited to get right back out and play another good Big 10 opponent in the host Wisconsin.”
Valpo (1-2) will continue the University of Wisconsin Tournament on Monday with a holiday game against the host Badgers that begins at 2:30 p.m. CT. Links to live video (BTN+) and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.