Valparaiso University Sports Update, October 17, 2016

VU-Mens-Soccer-Suffers-First-League-Loss-in-Green-BayMen’s Soccer Suffers First League Loss in Green Bay
The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team saw its six-match unbeaten streak snapped on Saturday night with a 2-0 defeat at Green Bay. The Crusaders absorbed their first league loss of the season and suffered their first defeat since Sept. 21 at Ohio State.

How it Happened

  • The Crusaders fell behind when Green Bay’s William Nordenstrom scored on a free kick in the 23rd minute, beating the keeper on the right side.
  • With the Crusaders aggressively pursuing an equalizer, Tyrus Sciarra notched an 82nd minute goal on the counter attack, finishing with a header on an assist from Karim Lauba.

Inside the Match

  • The Crusaders outshot the Phoenix 12-7, while each team put five shots on goal.
  • Green Bay goalkeeper Kyle Ihn made five saves to keep the Crusaders scoreless, notching his fourth shutout of the season.
  • The Phoenix captured their second league win of the season, with the first coming on Sept. 10 against Wright State. Green Bay enjoyed its first multiple goal output of the year.
  • Valpo goalkeeper Nico Campbell made three saves.
  • Saturday marked just the third time the Valpo defense has allowed multiple goals in a match this season and the first since Sept. 21 at Ohio State. In addition, it was just the second time all year the Crusaders were held scoreless and the first since a 0-0 draw against SIU Edwardsville on Aug. 29.

Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“You have to give credit to Green Bay. They scored a wonderfully taken free kick with the wind at their back in the first half, and then did a good job managing the game. We never really found a rhythm, and they were able to keep the tempo out of the game through the second half when we had the wind at our backs. We were pushing at the end and they caught us on the counter to ice the game. They should feel good about the win because I thought they earned it fair and square. Really well done by them.

This is always a challenging trip. Green Bay's other league win this season was a home game against Wright State - the team I think is probably the best team in the league. We didn't handle the game well, again - in large part due to Green Bay's performance, but we aren't alone in having a tough time up here.

Our goal first and foremost is to qualify for the league tournament, then we can worry about how high a seed we can get. Our attention now turns to the week ahead with IPFW on Tuesday and then UIC next weekend. We've rebounded well to every setback so far, so I'm confident we will again. This is a proud group and they are well aware of the opportunity before them, even if tonight wasn't our best night out.”

Next Up
The Crusaders (7-3-3, 3-1-2) continue a stretch of four straight matches away from Brown Field on Tuesday night at IPFW. The match is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. CT, an hour earlier than the original start time. Links to live video and stats will be available on

Men’s Tennis Team Dominates Crusader Invitational
The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team swept the singles competition with individual champions at A, B and C singles, and also won two of the three doubles brackets on the final day of the Crusader Invitational on Saturday.

How it Happened

  • Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) started his Saturday with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Butler’s Aviv Ben Shabat. Then, Kissell completed his undefeated weekend with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Green Bay’s Matej Kostadinov in the A Singles championship.
  • The B Singles bracket also featured a Valpo champion, as Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) bested Crusader teammate Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill.) 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) in the final. Bacalla reached the championship with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Chicago State’s Gonzalo Martinez, while Ancona punched his ticket with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Butler’s Spencer Lang.
  • Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) won the C Singles bracket, bettering Northwestern Ohio’s Jean-Marc Krone 6-1, 6-2 in the final after topping Rohan Wattley of Chicago State in the semifinal 6-0, 6-2.
  • Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) recovered from a second-round loss on Friday by besting teammate Brian Pecyna (Glen, Ellyn, Ill.) in consolation play 4-6, 6-1, 10-7. Pecyna picked up a 6-1, 6-3 win over Butler’s Sam Sullivan earlier in the day.
  • Kissell and Bacalla were the A Doubles champions by virtue of a 6-3 win over Butler’s Aviv Ben Shabat and Ari Gerstein in the final.
  • Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) enjoyed a 2-0 day in B Singles, bouncing back from a Friday defeat with back-to-back straight set wins against Iowa’s Tony Leto and Green Bay’s Joshua Schramm.
  • Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) also showed resiliency after two losses on Friday by winning a consolation match against Chicago State’s Christian Gonzalez in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
  • Dunn and Gardner won the A Doubles consolation title, topping Green Bay’s Miles McDowall and Matej Kostadinov 6-1 in the final match.
  • Ancona and Langston rebounded from a loss earlier in the day by finishing strong with a 6-1 win over a Chicago State duo. B Doubles was the only bracket not won by Valpo.
  • Pecyna and Brozovich topped Green Bay’s Ivan Radomirovic and Joshua Schramm 6-1 in the C Doubles final.

Next Up
The Crusaders will be represented at the ITA Midwest Regional in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday. Then, Valpo rounds out the fall at the Illinois State Invitational from Oct. 28-30 in Normal, Ill.

Valpo Falls to YSU Saturday Evening
A goal in the 79th minute proved to be the difference Saturday night at Brown Field, as the Valparaiso University women’s soccer team dropped a 1-0 final in Horizon League play to Youngstown State.

How it Happened

  • The teams played to a scoreless first half on Saturday – while YSU held a 7-3 advantage in shots in the opening period, each side could only put one effort on frame.
  • The vital tally came with less than 12 minutes to play in regulation, as Marissa Martin found the upper-left corner of the net for the deciding goal.
  • The Crusaders had one final effort late, but a shot attempt from senior April Cronin (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) was wide left in the 89th minute.

Inside the Match

  • YSU finished the evening with a slight 11-8 edge in shots, while both teams put just two shots on goal apiece.
  • Valpo held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
  • The loss was just the Crusaders’ second in 16 all-time meetings with the Penguins.
  • Valpo enters the penultimate week of the regular season in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Horizon League standings and will play the other two teams in the three-way tie next week.

Next Up
The Crusaders (7-8-0, 3-3-0 Horizon) make the short trip to Chicago on Wednesday evening to face UIC as the battle to make the Horizon League Championship takes shape. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Crusaders Host Green Bay Saturday
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s swimming squads held their first home meet of the season at the ARC Pool Saturday, hosting Horizon League foe Green Bay. The Phoenix swept both meets, with the men winning 153-99 and the women’s squad defeating the Crusaders 173-83.

How it Happened

  • The unit of freshman Tara Lawson (Mundelein, Ill./ Mundelein), senior Emily Trimpe (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine), freshman Erica Martins (Hartland, Wis./Lake County Lutheran) and freshman Paige Wright (Surprise, Ariz./Paradise Honor) finished second in the women’s 400-yard medley relay with a time of 4:09.56, just missing out on breaking the 2015-16 season best time of 4:09.32.
  • Trimpe picked up three second0place finishes today, two individual and one relay. The individual feats came in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke races, with times of 1:11.28 and 2:34.82. Lawson picked up another second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke event, swimming a time of 1:03.10.
  • A top Crusader swimmer from a year ago, senior Rachael Law (Wayne, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) picked up a second-place finish in the 1,000-yard freestyle, hitting the wall with a time of 11:13.94.
  • Freshman Dylan Ogle (Simpsonville, S.C./Mauldin) continued the strong start to his Crusader career with a third-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing with a time of 1:57.38 – just a fraction of a second off his time from his debut meet, where he moved into eighth place in program history. He also garnered a third-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.22 seconds.

Next Up
Both teams are back in action on Friday, Oct. 21 to host Evansville. The meet is slated to begin at 5 p.m. inside the ARC.

Crusaders Upend Hatters for Memorable Road Win
The Valparaiso University football team fended off a talented Stetson squad on Saturday afternoon in DeLand, Fla., pulling out an improbable 21-18 victory over the Hatters. The Crusaders had come close to notching signature upset victories on multiple occasions since Dave Cecchini took over as head coach, but this time they were able to hold on and seal the deal.

How it Happened

  • The Valparaiso defense came up with stop after stop late in the game, totaling four interceptions. In addition, the Crusaders blocked a field-goal try and a punt.
  • The Hatters attempted a 47-yard field goal with 51 seconds left that would have tied the game, but it fell short, sending the Crusaders into celebration. Stetson kicker Grant Amick also had a chance to tie the game with 11:33 left, but his 45-yard try hit the crossbar and fell short.
  • After the first field goal miss, the next two Stetson possessions resulted in interceptions. Brandon Riley (Chicago, Ill. / Morgan Park) snuffed out a promising Stetson drive with a pick at the Valpo 11-yard line with 9:10 to go. Then, Drew Snouffer (Columbus, Ohio / Upper Arlington) made an incredible snag on a short pass from DeFillippo at the Valpo 28 with 6:06 left. It was Snouffer’s second interception of the game.
  • Joey Diaz-Martinez (Miramar, Fla. / Miramar) accounted for Valpo’s other interception.
  • The Hatters got on the board first with Amick’s 23-yard field goal with 10:19 left in the first quarter. Neither team scored again until a bad snap on a Valpo punt resulted in a Stetson safety to make it 5-0 with 55 seconds left in the first quarter.
  • Griffin Norberg (Sunrise, Fla. Western) vaulted Valpo in front with a 38-yard touchdown catch on a pass from freshman quarterback Jimmy Seewald (Livonia, Mich. / Divine Child).
  • Valpo’s next score came courtesy of freshman Cody Boxrucker (West Chester, Ohio / Badin), who rolled into the end zone from 3 yards out to cap a drive that was set up by the first of Snouffer’s two picks.
  • DeFillippo connected with an open Kegan Moore for a 39-yard touchdown pass with 2:30 left until halftime, cutting Valpo’s lead to 14-12 at the break.
  • Boxrucker turned in his second 3-yard TD run of the game, boosting the lead to 21-12 with 11:11 left in the third. Valpo took over at the Stetson 3-yard line after Norberg blocked a punt and made the recovery.
  • Stetson’s Cole Mazza plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out with 3:34 to go in the third to make it 21-18. Amick missed the extra point after what ended up being the final scoring play of the day.

Inside the Game

  • With his two TD runs, Boxrucker now has five of the team’s seven rushing scores this season.
  • Snouffer’s two interceptions were the first and second of his career.
  • Diaz-Martinez now has a team-leading three interceptions, while Riley’s pick was the first of his career.
  • Norberg’s TD grab was his second of the season and the fourth of his Valpo career.
  • One more win would give the Crusaders their first three-win conference campaign since the PFL championship season of 2003. Valpo already holds a .500 or better mark through four league contests for the first time since the 2003 season.
  • Seewald, starting in place of the injured Ryan Clarke, went 13-of-30 through the air and passed for 170 yards, including one touchdown and one interception.
  • Jarrett Morgan carried the ball 21 times for 67 yards, doing the bulk of his damage in the first half.
  • Norberg was Valpo’s leading receiver with a career-high four grabs for 59 yards.
  • Boxrucker finished with a career-high 25 rushing yards.
  • The Crusaders were playing without three starters (Jake Trumpower, Jay Slone and Mike Wheeler) on defense and their starting quarterback due to injuries, making the win all the more impressive.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Cecchini

  • “When you have a game like this in the mud and the rain, and it was only our second time on grass this year, it wasn’t going to be easy. Our guys stepped up. We had our share of adversity. I’m so proud of our team because we’ve been in this situation several times before. Our defense was super. All it takes is that our guys were confident; we know we’re getting better. It just takes making those plays. Those individual efforts, those one-on-one situations and winning our share. That’s what we did today.”
  • On the Defense: “Those guys played with an awful lot of confidence. When the rain started coming down, both teams unleashed the dogs. You know in those situations, the team that protects the football the best ends up winning these games, and today was no exception.
  • On Brandon Doepke and Tristan De La Rosa: “Sometimes those guys go as unsung heroes. Their stats aren’t as eye-popping. Those guys made big plays stopping screens, they occupy defenders. One of the reasons Drew Snouffer is having such a big year is he’s relatively free most times. Those guys deserve the lion’s share of that credit.”
  • On Snouffer’s second interception: “He’s our most productive player for good reason. He’s active. He has great change of direction, great focus. He just keeps getting more comfortable with the game and the speed. His confidence keeps going up. He’s a little undersized for a linebacker, and he’s got that overachiever mentality.”

Next Up
The Crusaders (3-4, 2-2 PFL) have another long road trip ahead of them as they travel to San Diego (5-1, 4-0) to play the first-place Toreros next Saturday. The game is scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m. CT and can be heard on WVUR (95.1 FM Valparaiso). San Diego will have a live video stream available. Links for the live video, audio and stats will be available via

Schorsch Competes at Oracle ITA Masters, Crusaders Begin Fall Invite
Senior Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) represented the Valparaiso University men’s tennis team at the Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu, Calif. on Friday, while the remainder of the Crusaders began the Valpo Fall Invite.

How it Happened – Oracle ITA Masters

  • Schorsch, competing in an invite-only event that features the top player from each conference, lost his second-round match to Kentucky’s Ryotaro Matsumura.
  • Schorsch dropped Set 1 6-4, then lost the second set 6-1 to Matsumura, who was the No. 2 seed in the event.

How it Happened – Crusader Invitational

  • In A Singles, Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) dispatched Northwestern Ohio’s Teo Baudin 6-3, 6-3 in a second-round match. Kissell will collide with Butler’s Aviv Ben Shabat on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
  • Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) rolled to a 6-0, 6-1 victory on Friday afternoon against Olivet Nazarene’s Srdja Nikolic in B Singles. Bacalla meets Chicago State’s Gonzalo Martinez on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
  • Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) captured two victories on Friday. He got the better of Green Bay’s Miles McDowell 6-4, 6-2 in opening-round action, then knocked off Iowa’s Tony Leto 6-4, 6-1 in a second-round showdown. Ancona will attempt to continue his winning ways on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. when he faces Butler’s Spencer Lang.
  • Lang defeated Valpo’s Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) 7-5, 6-1 on Friday, sending Dunn to a consolation match against Leto, which is slated to get underway at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) beat Butler’s Sam Sullivan 6-4, 6-2 in a C Singles match. Langston will go at it with Chicago State’s Rohan Wattley on Saturday at 1 p.m.
  • Kissell and Bacalla teamed up for a 6-3 win over Northwestern Ohio’s Theo Baudin and Gjorgi Popovski in A Doubles.
  • Ancona and Langston joined forces in a 6-3 triumph over Northwestern Ohio in B Doubles.
  • Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) also earned a doubles win for the Crusaders, topping an Olivet Nazarene duo 6-2.
  • Brozovich split a pair of C Singles matches on Friday. He beat Olivet Nazarene’s Samir Shammas 6-0, 6-1, then came up on the wrong end of a 6-4, 6-3 match against Butler’s Adrian Mag. Brozovich is expected to return to the court on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
  • Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) fell to Green Bay’s Matej Kostadinov 6-1, 6-2 in his lone match of the day and will compete in an A Singles consolation match against Iowa’s Jonas Larsen on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
  • Elsewhere in A Singles, Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) dropped back-to-back matches. He fell in a three-set affair with Butler’s Mason Gragos 6-0, 3-6, 14-12, then succumbed to Chicago State’s Felix Savard in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
  • Dunn and Gardner lost their A Doubles match to Butler 6-4 and will return to the court on Saturday at 8 a.m. against Northwestern Ohio.
  • Pecyna fell to Northwestern Ohio’s Jean-Marc Krone 6-3, 6-4 in C Singles. He’ll meet Butler’s Sam Sullivan in a consolation match on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Inside the Matches

  • Langston, who has won four straight matches, moves into a tie with Gardner for the team lead in wins with seven.
  • Ancona has had tremendous success as a double player this season. With Friday’s win, Ancona and Langston are now 3-0 as a pair, while Ancona is 6-0 overall in doubles, with Dunn serving as his doubles partner for his other three victories.
  • The Valpo Tennis Invitational was originally scheduled to be an indoor event, but the majority of the matches are being played outdoors on campus due to favorable weather. The Courts of Northwest Indiana were used for Friday’s indoor portion.

Next Up
The Valparaiso Fall Invitational will continue with the final day of play on Saturday.