Valparaiso (3-10-1, 2-5-0 MVC)
Wednesday, Oct. 30, Noon CT – vs. #9 Missouri State (13-0-0, 7-0-0 MVC)
Sunday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m. CT – at Evansville (2-11-1, 2-5-0 MVC)
This Week in Valpo Soccer: The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team will refamiliarize itself with the concept of playing at home this week as the side finally hosts a match at Brown Field for the first time since Oct. 1. After a challenging stretch of five straight on the road, the Brown & Gold will face a whole new challenge on Wednesday, welcoming No. 9 Missouri State to Northwest Indiana. The week continues on Sunday as Valpo visits instate foe Evansville in the regular season’s penultimate match.
Previously: Valpo split a pair of MVC matches this past week, earning a 3-1 road win at Drake on Wednesday before falling 1-0 at Bradley on Sunday. Andy Lomeli, Mason Marcey and Demar Rose all found the back of the net, while Adan Garcia racked up three assists in the comeback victory over the Bulldogs. After falling behind 1-0 in the 22nd minute, Valpo got goals in minutes 37, 45 and 62 en route to the triumph. The visitors had only four shots in the game, but three of them found the back of the net. A Walid Kherat goal in the 67th minute accounted for the only scoring of the road loss in Peoria.
Three-Assist Showing: Senior midfielder Adan Garcia made Valpo history this past week by contributing to all three goals in a 3-1 road victory over Drake on Wednesday. He was credited with an assist on all three, becoming just the second player in program history and first since 1985 (Thomas Froats) to notch three assists in one game. He became the 20th player in the nation and first in the Missouri Valley Conference with a three-assist showing in 2019. In addition, Garcia cracked the program record book in career assists by upping his total to 11. He now owns sole possession of 10th in program history and is the first Valpo player with a double-figure assist total since Adrian Ortiz finished his collegiate tenure with 13 in 2010.
Ranked Opponents: For the second time this season, Valpo will battle a nationally-ranked team on Wednesday as Missouri State makes its way to Brown Field. After visiting No. 16 SMU on Sept. 13, the Brown & Gold will face an even tougher test with the Bears ranked in the Top 10 nationally entering the match. Since the start of the 2013 season, Valpo has five wins and one draw against nationally-ranked sides. Valpo last hosted a ranked team on Sept. 28, 2015, a 1-0 overtime victory over No. 23 Omaha.
Success vs. Top 10: Missouri State was ranked ninth nationally in the Oct. 22 United Soccer Coaches poll and figures to hold its Top 10 status in the poll that will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 29 after another perfect week. Should the Bears remain in the Top 10, this will mark the highest ranked team Valpo has played since Sept. 11, 2014, when the squad made its way to East Lansing and knocked off No. 7 Michigan State 1-0. Omar Lawrence scored the goal in the 58th minute with Stian Sandbekkhaug providing the assist. That was the first win against a Top 10 opponent in program history. Although Valpo has visited Top 10 teams on a number of occasions, this will be the first time the Brown & Gold have hosted a Top 10 side.
Four-Goal Club: Mason Marcey posted his fourth goal of the season and the fifth of his career on Wednesday, becoming just the 10th player in the Missouri Valley Conference with four or more goals. He was the first Valpo player to hit that mark. Marcey had a three-point night in a 3-1 win over Drake, also notching his second assist of the year.
Traveling Troop: Valpo has finished out a stretch of five straight matches away from Brown Field. The team hasn’t played on its home pitch since Oct. 1 against Bradley, a stretch that will finally come to an end on Wednesday. None of Valpo’s first nine away matches this season came against a team with a losing record.
Following Valpo: Wednesday’s match will be available on ESPN3 and Sunday’s on ESPN+. Aaron Leavitt (play-by-play) and Jake Wulbert (color commentary) will have the call on Wednesday. Links to live video and stats can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Mike Avery: In his 13th season at the helm of the Valpo men’s soccer program, Mike Avery owns a program-record 90 career victories. Under Avery's guidance, the team has been a stellar defensive side, as nine of the top 10 defensive seasons in program history have come during his tenure. Avery has led the program to a new standard in his time as head coach, as a team that had enjoyed just one winning season in the 24 years prior to his arrival has finished above the .500 mark six times in the last decade. He has also seen numerous players go on to play professional soccer, including active pros Zev Taublieb, Kyle Zobeck, Stefan Antonijevic, Jordan Aidoud, Rafael Mentzingen, Nacho Miras, Ramone Howell, Matthew King, Jordan Simon, Hamid Babaali and Lucca Lacerda. Avery shattered the program record with his 77th career victory on Sept. 16, 2017 at Drake. He reached 77 victories in his 195th career match, while previous recordholder Mis’ Mrak needed 288 matches to accumulate 76 wins.
Series Notes – Missouri State: Valpo heads into Wednesday hoping to secure its first ever victory over Missouri State as the team stands at 0-9-1 in a head-to-head series that started in 1989. The lone draw came 1-1 on Sept. 19, 2008 in Springfield. Valpo is 0-4 against the Bears since joining the Missouri Valley Conference prior to the 2017 campaign. This marks the second meeting of the year between the two teams after the Bears prevailed 3-1 in the conference opener in Springfield back on Sept. 18. Michael Cushing scored for Valpo, while Missouri State got goals from Stuart Wilkin, Ian Jones and Matthew Bentley.
Scouting the Opposition – Missouri State: The Bears are ranked ninth nationally in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll and own a No. 13 national ranking from College Soccer News and No. 14 from Top Drawer Soccer. Missouri State is the only unbeaten and untied team in all of Division-I men’s soccer. The team’s 13-game winning streak is the longest in program history. The team is off to a 7-0-0 start to conference play for the first time ever and has already tied the 2001 and 2009 Missouri State sides for the most conference wins in a season. The Bears can clinch the regular season conference title with a win or a draw on Wednesday afternoon at Brown Field. Currently, Loyola is only other team in mathematical contention for the regular season title. Veteran head coach Jon Leamy has been at the helm of Missouri State’s program since 1992. Matthew Bentley is the team leader in goals (nine) and points (21), while Josh Dolling leads the way with four assists to go along with his five goals.
Series Notes – Evansville: Valpo stands at 3-3-2 all-time against the Purple Aces in a series that started in 2002. Valpo is 2-0-1 against Evansville since joining The Valley, but 0-3-1 all-time when visiting their instate foes. Valpo won this year’s first meeting 2-1 at Brown Field, scoring two goals in the final 15 minutes of regulation (Dylan Waugaman and Adan Garcia) to secure the victory.
Scouting the Opposition – Evansville: The Purple Aces enter their game at Loyola on Wednesday evening looking to snap a nine-match losing streak. Evansville gave Missouri State a game on Saturday night in Springfield, but the hosts prevailed 2-1. Jesse Stafford-Lacey is the team leader with four goals and nine points. Head coach Marshall Ray took the helm in December 2014.
Comeback Kids: Valpo faced a 1-0 deficit as late as the 77th minute on Sept. 22 against Evansville, but a pair of quick strikes from Dylan Waugaman and Adan Garcia helped Valpo to a 2-1 victory over the Purple Aces. Valpo won after allowing the first goal of the match for the first time since last October, when the team came from 1-0 down to beat Eastern Illinois with two second-half tallies. The win over the Aces was the first time in Mike Avery's 13-year head coaching tenure that his side was trailing as late as the 77th minute and found a way to win in regulation. Valpo again showed its ability to come from behind on Oct. 23 at Drake, erasing a 1-0 hole to beat the Bulldogs 3-1. Both of Valpo’s MVC wins have come when the opponent scored first.
Three-Goal Outburst: Valpo’s three-goal output on Oct. 23 at Drake was the team’s most prosperous since scoring eight times in a game against IU Northwest on Sept. 2. The last time Valpo had a three-goal showing in conference play was back on Sept. 16, 2017, also at Drake, a 3-2 overtime victory.
Holst Atop Valley: Valpo goalkeeper Edvin Holst is the Missouri Valley Conference leader in both total saves (58) and saves per game (5.27), also ranking among the national leaders in those areas. He has been active behind a youthful back line, making key contributions as a rookie. The last Valpo keeper to lead a league in saves was Ryan Schwarz in 2007. He ranks 10th nationally in saves per game and 26th in total saves.
Academic Success Sustained: The Valpo men’s soccer program earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 17th consecutive season, as announced on Thursday, Oct. 3. Valpo has the third-longest streak in the nation behind only Carleton College (2000-present) and Penn (2001-present). The award is given annually to squads with a composite grade point average of 3.00 or better for the academic year. This year’s award is based on GPAs for the 2018-19 school year, when Valpo checked in at 3.09.
More Road Facts: Leading into the start of Valley play, Valpo faced fierce competition during a four-game road journey. SMU was ranked as high as 16th at the time of the meeting and afterward vaulted into the Top 10 in most national polls. Missouri State is also a Top 25 side. The combined records of SMU, Missouri State, UIC and Oral Roberts at the time of the meetings with Valpo was 21-2-0. During October, Valpo had five straight away from home, the team’s longest string of road games since opening the 2017 season with six straight.
PK Conversion: Ryan Madondo converted a penalty kick on Oct. 1 vs. Bradley to help Valpo get on the board first in the Missouri Valley Conference contest. He helped Valpo improve to 2-for-2 on PKs this season after Cole Rainwater knocked one in on Sept. 2 vs. IU Northwest. As a team, Valpo has converted four PKs in a row dating back to Sept. 15, 2018.
Garcia Goal Count: By finding the net for the first time this season on Sept. 22 against Evansville, senior Adan Garcia lifted his career goal total to 11, the most among active Valpo players. He also has 11 career assists for a total of 33 points during his four-year tenure.
Late Heroics: Ryan Madondo's game-tying goal at 88:23 on Sept. 15 at Oral Roberts was Valpo's latest goal since Alex Brown put the team up 1-0 at the 89:02 mark on Sept. 7 of last season at Milwaukee. The last time Valpo trailed as late as the 89th minute and got the game to overtime was Sept. 29, 2014, when Nick Suker scored at 89:37 to tie a match with Dayton at two, an eventual 2-2 draw at Brown Field.
Scoring Streak: Valpo junior Mason Marcey started the season on a scoring streak as he registered goals in each of the team’s first three games. With his goal on Sept. 6 at UIC, Marcey became the first Valpo player to score in each of the first three games of a season since D.J. Catrow did so in 2005 against Buffalo, Canisius and Butler.
Strong Starts: Valpo had two players with three goals and seven points over the first three games of the season in Mason Marcey and Cole Rainwater. Before this year, Isaiah Madrid in 2016 was the only Valpo player since 2006 to reach three goals or seven points in the season's first three fixtures. This was the first time since at least 1987 that two Valpo players have had three goals or more just three matches into a season.
Making It Rain: Cole Rainwater had seven points in an 8-2 victory over IU Northwest on Sept. 2, becoming the first player in Mike Avery’s 13-year coaching tenure to turn in seven points in a match for Valpo. The last player to do so was Paul Leitelt on Aug. 27, 2006 vs. Evansville. Rainwater was the fifth player in program history with a seven-point performance and the 10th to turn a hat trick. Valpo’s last seven hat tricks have all been scored by players in their first or second year in the program. His hat trick was Valpo’s third in the last four years (Kendan Anderson and Adan Garcia) after the team had gone a decade between hat tricks prior to Anderson’s in 2016. For his efforts, Rainwater was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Sept. 3.
Strong Beginnings: Valpo debuted its new Brown Field turf by equaling a program record for goals in a game on Labor Day, downing IU Northwest 8-2 in the home opener. Valpo matched the team watermark of eight goals that was established on Aug. 26, 2011 against Calumet and had stood alone ever since. The Sept. 2 game against the RedHawks was the sixth time in program history Valpo prevailed by six goals or more and the first time the team had a margin of victory that large since the aforementioned 2011 game against Calumet.
Immediate Overtime: In a 1-1 draw at Green Bay on Aug. 30, Valpo went to overtime in the season opener for the fourth year in a row and the seventh time in the last eight years. It marked the fourth time in that span and the first since 2014 that the team started the season with a draw.
Dandy Debut: Freshman Edvin Holst helped Valpo to a 1-1 draw in the season opener on Friday, Aug. 30 at Green Bay by grabbing eight saves in his collegiate debut. He played all 110 minutes in goal and tied the most saves by any Valpo goalkeeper since Nico Campbell had nine on Sept. 9, 2014 vs. Butler. Holst’s save total was the highest by a Valpo goalkeeper in his first career start since Marc Cilfone had 10 at Bradley in 2001.
Reloading Time: A large senior class in 2018 has led to a team that features more newcomers (15) than returnees (13) in 2019. The team had 15 players depart from last year’s team, including dynamic strikers Rafael Mentzingen and Lucca Lacerda, who have both gone on to play professionally. Speaking of playing professionally, goalkeeper Nacho Miras made the decision to forgo his redshirt senior season when he had the opportunity to graduate on time and join the long list of Valpo alums who have reached the pro ranks.
A Reason to be Rosy: Although the roster saw significant turnover due to a large graduating class, the cupboard is far from bare for Mike Avery’s team. Headlining the group of returning players is fifth-year senior Demar Rose, a Preseason All-MVC choice this season and one of four Missouri Valley Conference players returning in 2019 after earning first-team all-conference honors in 2018. He didn’t skip a beat after missing the 2017 season with an injury, returning in 2018 to play in all 17 games and make 14 starts in the midfield while scoring one goal and striking 24 shots. He scored a dazzling equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Evansville on Oct. 27, 2018, earning a point in the Valley standings that allowed Valpo to clinch a conference tournament berth.
Senior Standout: Another veteran who has earned numerous honors over his Valpo career is senior midfielder Adan Garcia, who received 2018 MVC Honorable Mention, 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-Region Third Team and 2017 Second-Team All-MVC. He enters his senior year with 10 career goals, eight assists and 28 points, needing one more assist to crack Valpo’s all-time Top 10. He turned in a hat trick on Oct. 12, 2017 at Western Illinois, the ninth in program history and the first in a road match since 1985. Garcia’s name is already in the single-season Valpo record book after he had nine goals and 22 points in 2017, both tied for seventh in program history.
Academic Ace: Dylan Waugaman figures to continue his success both on the field and in the classroom this year. After graduating with a 3.99 grade point average in accounting, the 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-American Second Team honoree has begun a master’s in business administration. The fifth-year senior defender became the first Valpo player to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American honors since Todd Vervynckt in 2013. He also earned CoSIDA Academic All-Region and MVC Scholar-Athlete First-Team recognition as a redshirt junior. Waugaman received the 2018 Bill Steinbrecher Sportsmanship Award, which is given annually to the male student-athlete who best exemplifies integrity and sportsmanship while representing Valparaiso University. He has been nominated for the business school’s distinguished student award, nominated by a faculty member as an influential person on campus and met with University President Mark Heckler to discuss ideas about how to make Valpo a better place. Waugaman was one of three students in the 2018 graduating class who was recognized by President Heckler during the graduation ceremony as a distinguished student. In addition, Waugaman is an accounting tutor, member of NABA, member of Delta Sigma Pi (business honors society) and is involved in numerous community service activities.
The Region’s D1 Team: While the tradition of recruiting far and wide continues for Valpo men’s soccer, the team features a heavy local flavor this season. Five Northwest Indiana natives have joined the squad as freshmen – Danny Salazar (East Chicago, Ind. / Bishop Noll), Jack Eaton (Valparaiso, Ind. / Chesterton), Andy Lomeli (Dyer, Ind. / Lake Central), Cole Rainwater (Schererville, Ind. / Lake Central) and Logan Tatalovich (Valparaiso, Ind. / Boone Grove). Eaton was named the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year and Gatorade Indiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year following his senior season after helping Chesterton to a 21-0-2 mark and 3A state title.
Flying Many Flags: Despite bringing in a large crop of locals, the program has stayed true to its roots of recruiting globally. This year’s team features athletes from 10 countries – The Netherlands, Brazil, France, Jamaica, Japan, Germany, England, Italy, Sweden and the United States.
#oneVALPO: The Valpo men’s soccer program will continue to promote its #oneVALPO campaign, which celebrates diversity, via social and digital media and at its games. For more information, go to the #oneVALPO Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oneVALPO.
Working with TOCO: Valpo welcomed a large crowd to Brown Field on Sept. 25 against Drake, raising funds for They Often Cry Outreach, an organization that supports at-risk children in the Caribbean and the United States. Head coach Mike Avery offered to personally match all donations made that evening. The program has a long-standing relationship with TOCO.