The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team entered a challenging road environment on Friday night, falling 5-1 to three-time defending Horizon League champion UIC. The Flames were a perfect 7-0-0 at home last season and have won 14 straight Flames Field fixtures.
How It Happened
- UIC (2-1) got off to a fast start as Bar Hazut chipped one over the keeper in the opening minute. Bukola Abdulwahab and Jacob Graiber were credited with assists.
- Valpo goalkeeper Edvin Holst (Stockholm, Sweden / Viktor Rydberg Gymnasium Jaraplan) registered a nifty save in the sixth minute on a shot ripped off by Perez Flores – his first save of the match.
- Hazut secured a brace in the seventh minute of play, finishing on an assist from Pau Mateo.
- Hazut finished off the hat trick in the 28th minute with Perez providing the assist. Perez and Hazut hooked up again 22 seconds later, this time with Perez scoring and Hazut on the assist for his seventh point of the match. That goal made it 4-0 in favor of UIC.
- Valpo had a pair of shots on goal in the final three minutes of the opening half, but UIC goalkeeper Nkusuwila Zulu came away with saves in both instances.
- Valpo got on the board in the 62nd minute as Jonas Engler (Illingen, Germany / Georg Kerschensteiner Scule) sent a pass into the box that was headed by Ryan Madondo (Franklin, Tenn. / Franklin Road Academy [East Tennessee State]) to Mason Marcey (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Christian [Radford]), who finished for the first Valpo goal of the night.
- UIC tacked on a goal in the 76th minute by Jesus Perez, accounting for the final score.
Inside the Game
- Marcey is off to a strong start to the season as he has scored in each of Valpo’s three matches. He has four goals in his Valpo career.
- Engler and Madondo were both awarded assists on the goal as both earned their first points of the season. Madondo’s assist was his first in a Valpo kit, while Engler’s was his fifth.
- UIC held a slight 9-7 edge in shots on goal.
- Holst and Jorn-Jan van de Beld (Balkbrug, The Netherlands / University of Twente) each played a half in goal for Valpo and notched two saves apiece.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was not our night, that’s pretty obvious, but full credit to UIC – they were terrific from the opening whistle. They knocked us on our heels and by the time we recovered and started playing a reasonable approximation of what we can be, it was too late. It’s a painful lesson for our very young team, but it’s a good lesson that will serve us well as we move forward. On the positive side, the guys never gave up and actually played pretty well in the second half. We have more than half of the team new this year and had times when we had as many as five true freshmen on the field, so some ups and downs will happen. But those will level out soon enough and as long the guys keep working and keep their attitude right, we will be fine. SMU next week might be an even harder test, so we will get right back to work in the morning and see if we can apply some of these lessons.”
Valpo (1-1-1) will continue a challenging stretch of four straight away matches on Friday, Sept. 13 with a visit to SMU in Dallas. The kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast via Ponyup TV. Links to live video and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.