Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Wins Horizon League Regular Season Title With 1-1 Draw
Play Video Guy Shabtay scored the Crusaders' goal on Senior Night Wednesday. (Ray Acevedo)
Guy Shabtay scored the Crusaders' goal on Senior Night Wednesday. (Ray Acevedo)
Butler (7-7-3, 2-3-2)
at
Valparaiso (9-5-4, 5-0-2)
11/2/2011 | Valparaiso, Ind. | Attendance: 589
1st2nd1OT 2OT Final
Butler01001
Valparaiso10001
Scoring
VALPO18:26SHABTAY, Guy (ANTONIJEVIC, Stefan )
BU74:22STEINBERGER, Zach (ISENTHAL, Jared )
GoalkeepersMinGASv
BUDAWSON, Jon110:0014
VALPOZOBECK, Kyle110:0015
Stats at a GlanceBUVALPO
Shots (on Goal)8 (6)13 (5)
Saves45
Offsides03
Corner Kicks21
Fouls2419
Yellow Cards22

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Valparaiso men’s soccer team secured the outright Horizon League regular season championship Wednesday evening as the Crusaders played to a 1-1 draw with visiting Butler at Brown Field.  With the title, Valpo’s first in any team sport since joining the Horizon League, the Crusaders will host the Horizon League Championship semifinals on Nov. 11 and final on Nov. 13 at Brown Field.

“I’m very proud of this group of players; to be able to win a league like the Horizon with still one game to play is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Crusader head coach Mike Avery.  “I think, as a coach, the critic in me wishes we had won tonight to clinch.  I think we probably did enough over the course of the match to do that, but you have to give Butler credit.  They played as I expected they would, with a lot of energy trying to earn their way into the tournament.”

The clinching of the championship came on a night when ten Valparaiso men’s soccer seniors (Stefan Antonijevic, Lior Avisror, Kevin Brown, Clayton Lyons, Adrian Navar, Brendan Roth, Guy Shabtay, Chadd Sult, Wei Ming Wong, Kelvin Zelee) were honored pre-game in Senior Night ceremonies for their contributions to the Crusader program.  The group came in when Valpo had earned just one winning season in program history and has led the way as the Crusaders have enjoyed their best three seasons all-time over the last three years.  All nine healthy seniors (excepting Navar) were part of the starting XI on Wednesday night.

“I told the guys before the game that I wanted to win the championship with this group, in part because this group has been the one that has turned the tables for the program,” said Avery.  “There were a lot of guys before them who set the stage, but this one is the one that took the ball and ran with it.  I think its fitting that they're the team that's standing at the end.”

In front of a raucous and amped-up crowd, it would be a pair of those seniors who teamed up for the early go-ahead goal.  In the 19th minute, Antonijevic sent a pass from midfield into the offensive half, where Shabtay was able to corral it with a nice first touch.  With a defender on his hip, the Israeli took a couple touches before unleashing a hard left-footed strike from just inside 30 yards that drove into the upper-right 90 to put the Crusaders ahead 1-0.

Butler’s equalizer would come in the 75th minute of play.  Jared Isenthal sent a free kick from the right flank in the air across the box, where it eluded a number of players before coming down at the feet of Zach Steinberger, who struck it from eight yards out for the tying tally.  The goal snapped the Crusaders’ streak of shutouts at five and ended their consecutive minutes played without conceding at just north of 558 minutes.

The Crusaders had a nice effort in the 84th minute off a corner kick, but Antonijevic’s header was wide left and the game went into extra time.  Kyle Zobeck made a pair of stops in goal to keep the game knotted up through 100 minutes, while Valpo’s best scoring chance in overtime was an effort on the break by Charles Barden with two minutes to play that hit the outside of the netting.  With the seconds counting down, it was fittingly the senior Sult who booted the ball away to secure the draw and assure Valpo of hosting duties.

Valpo out-shot Butler (7-7-3, 2-3-2 Horizon) on Wednesday evening by a 13-8 count, but the Bulldogs put six shots on frame to the Crusaders’ five.  Zobeck made five saves in goal, allowing a goal in league play for just the second time in seven games this season, while Butler’s Jon Dawson stopped four shots.

“It was an interesting game,” said Avery.  “I think part of it was the fact that Butler brought a lot of energy.  That combined with the fact we were playing for the championship on Senior Night in front of the best crowd we've ever had in terms of energy.  Our students were fantastic tonight.  I think the game was a little bit more wide open than i would have preferred, but we did what we needed to do.  Valparaiso is the champions, so we're going to feel pretty good about that.”

Valparaiso (9-5-4, 5-0-2 Horizon) closes out the regular season Saturday with a 1 p.m. match at Green Bay.  Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com.

W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
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
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M 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 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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W 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
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M 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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay