The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team came within five minutes of an unforgettable upset over No. 9 Missouri State at a rainy and wet Brown Field on Wednesday afternoon, but the Bears remained the only perfect team in the nation by scoring a late equalizer and eventually a golden goal to top Valpo 3-2 in overtime. The Brown & Gold led 2-0 as late as the 72nd minute.
How It Happened
- Mason Marcey (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Christian [Radford]) had a free-kick from the far sideline 30 yards away from the goal in the 44th minute and booted it perfectly to Dylan Waugaman (Houston, Texas / Friendswood [Oregon State]), who headed it into the right side of the net for the first goal of the match.
- That set-piece goal capped a first half that saw Valpo go toe-to-toe with one of the nation’s elite sides, outshooting the Bears 8-4 prior to the break. Missouri State had an early chance that was headed out by Chavez Brooks (Kingston, Jamaica / Wolmer’s Boys School), while Valpo forced Bears goalkeeper Michael Creek into saves in the 13th and 29th minutes. In addition, the Bears had a PK that was wide in the 31st minute.
- If Missouri State’s perfect season wasn’t quite in jeopardy after a commendable first-half performance by Valpo, it sure was after what occurred in the 50th minute. Ryan Madondo (Franklin, Tenn. / Franklin Road Academy [East Tennessee State]) sneaked one inside the left post to build the lead to 2-0 on a shot from 20 yards out. He maneuvered around a defender to take advantage of a Valpo breakout that was created by a Mattia Dabala (Venice, Italy / Maria Lazzari) tackle at midfield.
- The comeback effort by visitors started in the 72nd minute when Matthew Bentley headed home a cross from Kian Yari to shrink the deficit to one.
- Stuart Wilkin collected a loose ball after a cross that Valpo couldn’t clear and fired a shot from 20 yards out in the 86th minute. That effort found the back of the net, accounting for the equalizer and tying the match at two.
- Late in the first overtime period, Jack Denton chipped it into the box to Bentley, who beat the keeper from 10 yards out for the golden goal. His brace lifted his season goal total to 11 and helped Missouri State clinch the outright Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title.
Inside the Game
- Waugaman’s goal was his second of the season and of his career. His previous tally came in a Sept. 22 victory over Evansville.
- Marcey accrued his third assist of the year and boosted his team-leading point total to 11. He is tied with Garcia for the team lead in assists.
- Madondo is up to seven points for the year after scoring his third goal. He joins Marcey and Cole Rainwater as the only Valpo players with three goals or more in 2019.
- The Valpo men’s soccer program continued its tradition of giving nationally-ranked sides everything they can handle. Valpo has five wins and one draw against Top 25 opponents since the start of the 2013 campaign. The team came within five minutes of its second victory over a Top 10 team after knocking off No. 7 Michigan State 1-0 on the road on Sept. 11, 2014, which was the team’s last game against a Top 10 squad before Wednesday.
- Missouri State (14-0-0, 8-0-0) narrowly remained the nation’s only unbeaten and untied team, extending its school-record winning streak to 14.
- Valpo is the first team to score two goals in a match against Missouri State all season. The Brown & Gold led for 42 minutes, the second-longest any team has led against the Bears in a match this season behind Tulsa back on Sept. 14.
- Valpo goalkeeper Edvin Holst (Stockholm, Sweden / Viktor Rydberg Gymnasium Jaraplan) registered seven saves.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“Congrats to Missouri State. They are having a special season and they showed some real resolve today to come back from two goals down in the final 15 minutes of the game. Great teams can do that and seeing it up close is a great lesson for us.”
“It will likely take some time for the boys to dig the positives out of this one because it's a result that stings quite a bit given the way the game played out, but we will find plenty once we settle down and look for them. We played one of the best teams in the nation - the only team unbeaten and untied - and we gave them a real fight. I was very proud of the way we competed.”
“We've got a team that is young with a lot of new pieces, and we are lacking in big-game experience, so these kinds of challenges are an important part of the learning curve. We are closing the gap, though – that was pretty clear from the game today.”
Valpo (3-11-1, 2-6-0 MVC) will return to the road to face off with Evansville on Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN+.